SpaceX made history on Friday after successfully landing its Falcon 9 rocket on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean.
Images of the tall, narrow rocket gliding down onto a droneship sparked applause and screams of joy at SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California.
It was its fifth attempt at landing the rocket upright – a feat that the company says could pave the way for cheaper space travel.
Now, new footage from an onboard camera released by founder Elon Musk shows the near-perfect landing in stunning detail.
‘The first stage of the Falcon 9 just landed on our Of Course I Still Love You droneship,’ SpaceX wrote on Twitter, after launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 4:43 pm (2043 GMT).
Nasa spokesman George Diller confirmed that the rocket had successfully landed, just minutes after the Falcon 9 propelled the unmanned Dragon cargo craft to orbit, carrying supplies for astronauts at the International Space Station.
SpaceX has once before managed to set the rocket down on land, but ocean attempts had failed, with the rocket coming close each time but either crashing or tipping over.
Speaking to reporters afterward, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that being able to return costly rocket parts for repeated use, instead of jettisoning them into the ocean after each launch, will make spaceflight less expensive and less harmful to the environment.
‘It is just as fundamental in rocketry as it is in other forms of transport such as cars or planes or bicycles or anything,’ said Musk, who also runs Tesla Motors.
Musk said it costs around $300,000 to fuel a rocket, but $60 million to build one.
‘If you have got a rocket that can be fully and rapidly reused, it is somewhere on the order of a 100-fold cost reduction, in marginal costs,’ he said, adding that he hoped his competitors would follow suit.
Before coming back down to Earth, the rocket launched nearly 7,000 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station, including an inflatable ‘space house’.
Elon Musk hailed the landing as ‘another step to the stars,’ at a Nasa press conference. He revealed the firm plans to relaunch the same rocket.
Read More: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/