January 14, 2017

"SpaceX returned to flight Saturday after a 4½-month hiatus."

CNN: The private space exploration company headed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:54 a.m. PT, taking 10 satellites into space for voice and data company Iridium. By Azadeh Ansari and Jackie Wattles

'It marked the company's first launch since a Falcon 9 rocket exploded at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in September. The launch's success Saturday was made even sweeter by a smooth return landing for the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage booster. It safely returned from space and glided to a landing on a seafaring platform, known as a drone ship.

'SpaceX has been attempting to perfect the rocket landing -- along with rivals such as Blue Origin from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

'Because rockets are worth tens of millions of dollars, and they have historically been discarded after launch, mastering the landing is key to making space travel more affordable.

'Saturday's launch marks the seventh time SpaceX has successfully landed a rocket.'

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