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SpaceX just did something really, really impressive with their rocket

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David Cornish
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The loudest cheer of 2016 will probably have been issued in the 83rd minute of Chelsea's clash with Tottenham, when Eden Hazard's sublimely curled equaliser sent every Leicester fan (and neutral supporter with a heart) into ecstasy.

The second loudest cheer of 2016 erupted just a few days later, when SpaceX nailed a landing of a Falcon 9 rocket on a sea platform. 

This landing was the highlight of Mission JCSAT-14: a mission to put a commercial communications satellite into a tricky Geostationary Transfer Orbit, before the Falcon 9 rocket returned to Earth and attempt an experimental landing on the 'Of Course I Still Love You' droneship - a moving sea platform. While SpaceX has carried out a landing on a sea platform before, given that this rocket was subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating, it made a successful landing "unlikely".

That's incredibly difficult. On a par with threading the eye of a stationary needle from a moving car. And yet, they did it. Another huge step forward in the mission of SpaceX for developing reusable rockets, hugely reducing the cost of space missions and making space a profitable business.

Rocket scientists sure know how to party.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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