(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — SpaceX successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on an ocean platform during a mission to launch a Japanese commercial communications satellite into orbit early Friday morning.
The launch happened at 1:20 a.m. ET from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Landing confirmed. Second stage continuing to carry JCSAT-14 to a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. pic.twitter.com/HfHI5cwoYX
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 6, 2016
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk previously thought that the landing would be more challenging than their previous successful landing because the rocket would be reentering the atmosphere much faster and hotter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 6, 2016
Experts were skeptical about the mission, but during a live web broadcast SpaceX staffers erupted into applause and cheers as the rocket landed. Even the launch commentator enthusiastically declared, “The Falcon has landed.”
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