I just heard the first private spacecraft successfully launched, released a satellite into orbit and landed back where it started. This is such an awesome accomplishment because up to now the only people who could launch satellites into the atmosphere was NASA.
NASA is a federally funded governmental agency responsible for space exploration. They've been in existence for a very long time and a side effect of their work has been some awesome innovations that have made our life easier.
But over the past few years several private companies have been working on creating a reusable delivery system so they could go into the business of launching satellites. Well just a short time ago (a day or so) Space X became the first company to launch their Falcon 9 into space and have it land where it started.
Up to now, most spacecraft have be of the one use only, rocket parts dropped away, letting the payload cabin fall into the ocean so the astronauts could be rescued. I checked out the company and this is not the first thing Space X has accomplished over the past few years.
In 2012, Space X successfully deployed the Dragon payload up to the international space station and has completed two more trips since then for NASA. Just think, the are the only commercial company to make trips to the international space station.
This accomplishment is as earth shattering as when the first manned space flight occurred in both Russia and the United States or when man first walked on the moon. I remember hearing people talk about where they were back in 1969. So this generation can talk about where they were when the first rocket completed a full round trip.
Wouldn't it be neat to think that one day in the near future, we might be able to fly to the moon or even Mars, stay there for a few days and head home. Think about all the possibilities this opens up to the human race to take the first steps to expand into space.
For the moment though, this is the first step for companies who desire to provide satellite launching services. Will Space X take over space exploration from NASA? Who knows but remember, a baby crawls before walking. In time they run.
We may see people living on the moon in the next few decades. This is now one step closer to reality.