If you needed proof that the future of reusable rocket technology is going to be spectacular, look no further than SpaceX’s latest launch-and-landing time exposure photo, which shows a Falcon 9 rocket screaming away from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (left), before the first stage booster lands gently back on terra firma (right).
It was the fifth time SpaceX successfully landed the first stage booster of a Falcon 9 rocket back on Earth, and the second successful ground-based landing (the three most recent landings have occurred on Of Course I Still Love You, the offshore barge appropriately named after a sentient intergalactic spaceship). For me, it’s astonishing to see just how quickly SpaceX is normalizing something that engineers and space nerds have been dreaming of for more than half a century.
But we shouldn’t let ourselves get complacent. This shit is still incredible.