: Guardian: SpaceX rocket successfully lands on ocean drone platform for first time

14:15 Apr. 9, 2016

Guardian: SpaceX rocket successfully lands on ocean drone platform for first time

SpaceX successfully landed the Falcon 9 rocket on a drone platform in the ocean for the first time. Photograph: SpaceX

Falcon 9 rocket successfully lands on drone barge in fifth attempt

SpaceX landed a reusable rocket on a robotic drone on Friday, its fifth attempt and part of a budding space race between billionaires to revolutionize spaceflight.

The Falcon 9 rocket took off with a Dragon cargo capsule at 4.43pm ET from Cape Canaveral, Florida, under clear conditions.

Read also SpaceX Falcon 9 makes historic flight

SpaceX employees gathered around the company's Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, cheered wildly and chanted "USA" after the booster touched down on the barge off the coast of Cape Canaveral. Previous barge attempts had failed.

The private spaceflight company, which has shuttled cargo to the International Space Station and satellites into orbit since 2012, set off to deliver 7,000lb of supplies and a habitat experiment to the station – an inflatable room for astronauts.

Read also SpaceX launches Dragon cargo ship for International Space Station

The Dragon and inflatable room should reach the space station on Sunday.

Elon Musk, the tech billionaire who owns SpaceX, has said he hopes to pioneer reusable rockets that will make spaceflight vastly less expensive – and thus open new frontiers of exploration and opportunity in space.

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