SpaceX Successfully Lands Booster

SpaceX on Dec. 21 made history in space travel, successfully landing a reuseable Falcon 9 booster rocket for the first time after a launch at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. The company, led by PayPal founder Elon Musk, has been vying for Air Force contracts in addition to NASA resupply missions, with cost efficiency a large selling point for government work. The reuseable booster is a major push by the company to lower the overall cost of space travel by refurbishing rockets for successive missions as opposed to manufacturing a new rocket for each launch. At 8:29 p.m., a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying a commercial payload lifted off from Cape Canaveral. Following separation, the Falcon 9 rocket landed back at the station, about 10 minutes after launch, according to a 45th Space Wing release. The successful launch and landing followed failed attempts to land a Falcon 9 on ships at sea and the disintegration of a Falcon 9 during a NASA resupply mission in June. The Air Force in May certified the Falcon 9 for national security space launches.