Dec. 22, 2015
– SpaceX, the Hawthorne, California-based commercial spaceflight company, made history on Monday (Dec. 21) by successfully returning its Falcon 9 rocket's first stage to a vertical landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida after lofting eleven communications satellites into Earth orbit.
Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and chief technology officer, hailed the stage's recovery as a step change in technology.
"I think it bodes very well for the future. I think it is critical step on the way towards being able to establish a city on Mars," Musk stated. "Because I think quite vital to that goal is reusability in orbital-class rockets. It is really fundamental to that goal."
Read more: SpaceX returns to flight, and to the launch site: Falcon 9 stage lands