It was just the other day we reported on SpaceX's mission to deliver inflatable rooms to the International Space Station. The mission held, even more, significance because of SpaceX's constant mission to land a spacecraft after it had launched it. The Falcon 9 - the rocket in question - took off on April 8th, 2016 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and with it, the Dragon cargo spacecraft that had the supplies, experiment material and new hardware. The program that delivers supplies to the International Space Station is called the Commercial Resupply program.
SpaceX has been toying around with the idea of landing rockets back onto platforms after their mission objectives were met for some time now. According to ScientificAmerican, this was the "fifth attempt in 15 months by SpaceX". Unfortunately, the last attempted landings ended in a ball of flames, but this one was successful, except for one that did land on concrete in June 2015. This landing was done in the ocean, where the company had found little success in the past. An all-around win for aerospace engineering. The landing of the rocket on the barge opens a new chapter in aerospace engineering that could see the recycling and reusing of space-ready materials.
The cargo has already reached the International Space Station, to which Tim Peake, one of the astronauts on board, said, "It looks like we've caught a Dragon."
President Barack Obama tweeted: "Congrats SpaceX on landing a rocket at sea. It's because of innovators like you & NASA that America continues to lead in space exploration."
The engineers over at SpaceX were initially cautious to call the landing a success, due to the amounts of checks they had to do on the rocket itself to conclusively say whether the rocket could be used again.
About the hypothetical successes of one day landing a rocket on a barge in the sea, Elon Musk said, "We'll be successful, ironically, when it becomes boring. When it's like, 'Oh, yeah, another landing. No news there.'"
Later this year, Musk and the team at SpaceX plan to launch the Falcon Heavy, which has three times the number of engines compared to the Falcon 9. According to WashingtonPost, Musks's intention is to eventually fly the rocket to Mars.
Watch the undoubtedly impressive footage of the Falcon 9's landing below: