Elon Musk's SpaceX landed its towering rocket Monday night in a historic engineering feat that may one day reduce the cost of space travel by making spacecraft reusable.
The rocket was carrying 11 small satellites for Orbcomm of New Jersey.
After the rocket's second stage separated and continued to orbit with the satellites, the much larger first-stage booster turned around, slowed down from supersonic speeds and landed on a concrete pad at Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The rocket is equipped with landing legs, which deploy after separation. It also has steering fins to guide it back down to earth.
Musk plans to try to reuse the first-stage of the rocket and its nine engines, which had blasted the spaceship from the launch pad at 8:29 p.m. Eastern on Monday night.
Musk was, understandably, pretty excited.
So were two people who work in space exploration.
Not everyone took kindly to Jeff Bezos' reaction. His Blue Origin space tourism project landed a rocket after launch in November. Critics of Bezos' tweet pointed out the size difference of the rockets (SpaceX's is larger), the height to which they flew (SpaceX's went higher), and that SpaceX's helped put satellites into orbit.
But most reactions were along the lines of the congresswoman who represents the district that is home to Hawthorne-based SpaceX.