American aerospace company SpaceX on 21 December 2015 achieved the historic feat of successfully launching and landing Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 rocket was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida carrying 11 satellites to low-Earth orbit and was also successfully landed after 10 minutes to the Earth.
It is the first time in the history of rocketry that a rocket has returned back after delivering a spacecraft to its orbit, so that it could potentially fly again. This exercise of using reusable rockets will help in reducing the cost of access to space making explorations a more realistic goal. Musk claims the landing paves the way for humans living on Mars. 'I think it really quite dramatically improves my confidence that a city on Mars is possible,' he said. 'That's what all this is about.'
SpaceX has tried this landing twice before. In January and April, the company attempted to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 — a 14-story tall portion of the rocket body — on a floating platform out at sea. The rockets fell over and exploded both times.