NASA’s Space Shuttle program was totally iconic, for sure. Those nifty, space-plane lookin’ ships were the first large-scale move into reusable space travel, and for a while it looked like they’d legit be ~ the future ~.
The problem is, many experts reckon they actually sucked. Tragically, the failures of the Challenger and Columbia missions cost the lives of 14 astronauts; outside of these obvious catastrophes, they were also ludicrously expensive to use thanks to a one-use-only delivery system.
Elon Musk – aka the dude behind Tesla and PayPal – has also been dipping his toes into spaceflight lately. Of course, by dipping his toes, we mean ACTUALLY SENDING REAL ROCKETS INTO SPACE.
11 satellites deployed to target orbit and Falcon has landed back at Cape Canaveral. Headed to LZ-1. Welcome back, baby!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 22, 2015
What does this mean? Well, it’s concrete proof that we don’t need to spend unthinkable amounts on one-use-only rockets, which would drive down the price of space travel massively. That means more of us up there, which means we’ll be making utterly dank extra-terrestrial contact any time now… amongst other slightly more practical benefits.
If you’re not convinced, scope out how stoked these scientists are watching their pride and joy hit solid ground again: