In their drive to achieve the goal of reusable rockets, SpaceX has spent the past few years running their Falcon 9 rocket through the most rigorous of tests. And while they have achieved a soft landing once before, SpaceX has been unable to safely land their rockets at sea, despite several attempts. This has been an important step in the development process, as it would mean that the Falcon 9 can be landed under the most difficult of conditions.
But earlier today, SpaceX finally reached that milestone as their CRS-08 mission, which was launched from Cape Canaveral at 4:43 pm (ET), made it back to Earth in one piece. After sending its payload of a Dragon Capsule to rendezvous with the International Space Station, the first-stage rocket successfully made a soft landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. This one achievement brings SpaceX one step closer to fulfilling the goal Musk founded the company upon, which is achieving cost-effective, commercial spaceflight.