Since humans began regularly travelling to space, the hardest part of the journey has always been sticking the landing. Space X owner and CEO Elon Musk thinks he can fix that.
Speaking at the at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Musk just announced his space-travel company, Space X, has made a big breakthrough in its quest to launch a rocket and return it to Earth in a designated, targeted area. Space X's recently tested a Falcon 9 commercial rocket, that sent a cargo delivery the International Space Station, but then returned to Earth intact, using a series of boosters outfitted with landing legs that allowed the vessel to perform a soft-landing in the Atlantic Ocean.
The boosters were ruined and mostly lost in harsh ocean currents, but Musk said Space X collected enough data to know the soft-landing was successful. The results enthused Space X engineers so much, that they believe they can soon perform soft landings on actual land — and will be able to launch from and return a booster to Cape Canaveral by the end of the year.
Musk called the latest development "evolutionary, not revolutionary," adding "If we can recover the booster stage, the chance is there for revolutionary."