SpaceX continues to amaze.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing the Elon Musk-founded company has done is turn incredible-seeming spaceflight milestones into routine events. That’s exactly what they did on Saturday.
The private company launched yet another Falcon 9 rocket to space loaded down with an uncrewed Dragon capsule. The cargo capsule was filled with supplies for astronauts onboard the International Space Station.
This alone should be a huge feat for a private spaceflight company, considering the fact that spaceflight has long been dominated by nations, not private companies.
But just launching isn’t enough for SpaceX.
The first stage of that Falcon 9 then came back to Earth for a science fiction-looking landing at a pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
This marks the fifth time SpaceX has landed a booster back at this pad after launching to space, and the eleventh time it has landed a booster overall — the other landings have taken place on drone ships at sea.
As if all this wasn’t enough, the Dragon capsule is actually the first spacecraft ever re-flown to orbit by a private company.
If all goes according to plan, the Dragon, which first flew to orbit in 2014, should arrive at the Space Station on June 5. It should feel right at home, after a few years’ stay back on Earth.