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 Historic event: Falcon 9 reusable rocket back to Earth. VIDEO+PHOTOS

Falcon 9 rocket produced by SpaceX private spaceflight company successfully lifted off from SpaceX's launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, carrying 11 telecommunication satellites.

Yesterday's launch - the first for SpaceX since June 28, when a Falcon 9 broke apart less than three minutes after blasting off from Cape Canaveral - was webcast at company's website, Censor.NET reports.

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The Falcon 9 blasted off at 8:29 p.m. on Dec. 21 from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, tasked with delivering to orbit 11 spacecraft for the satellite-communications company Orbcomm. The two-stage Falcon 9 separated, and then the rocket's first stage performed a series three "boostback burns," coming down for a pinpoint touchdown at Cape Canaveral.

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Falcon 9's first stage takeoff and landing in one frame

Later SpaceX reported the 11 satellites launched aboard the Falcon 9 all deployed successfully.

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Falcon 9 before the launch. Photo: Elon Musk's Twitter

After the landing success, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk is planning to switch to reusable rockets. Such technology could slash the cost of spaceflight by a factor of 100, potentially making Mars colonies economically feasible, Musk has said. NASA has already congratulated SpaceX on its successful landing.

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Photo: Elon Musk's Twitter

As previously reported, Blue Origin, the company led by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, landed its New Shepard booster successfully last month, but that occurred during a suborbital test.
 
 
 
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