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SpaceX successfully launched and landed its second recycled rocket

Another milestone for Elon Musk’s space transportation company.

Screengrab of SpaceX launch Screengrab from SpaceX live video

Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully landed a used rocket on an unmanned droneship parked in the Atlantic ocean on Friday, marking the second time the serial entrepreneur’s space transportation company has reached this milestone.

This rocket, one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 spacecraft, was previously launched in January of this year, when it sent a group of 10 satellites into orbit. That mission was sent from and returned to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

For Friday’s launch, part of that rocket was brought to Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the Falcon 9 ferried a Bulgarian communications satellite into orbit that will beam television and data services to parts of Europe.

The satellite went into a relatively high orbit, which caused the rocket booster to generate a lot of force and heat as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere, making this a particularly difficult landing. Musk pointed out in a tweet that this launch was the greatest amount of force and heat a Falcon 9 has ever experienced on reentry.

But still, it worked. The rocket booster stuck the landing on SpaceX’s ship, named “Of Course I Still Love You.”

This is a screengrab of SpaceX’s rocket that landed Screengrab from SpaceX video

The reuse of rockets and spacecraft is core to SpaceX’s mission to bring down the cost of space travel. Rockets are typically too damaged after launching to be used again, and building a new rocket can cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

And now Musk has done it twice.

SpaceX is also starting to launch rockets at a steadier pace. In May, it launched two rockets within two weeks of each other, and then sent another rocket out in the beginning of June.

The first time SpaceX successfully reused part of its Falcon 9 rocket was at the end of March.

Watch the full launch and landing from Kennedy Space Center below:

BulgariaSat-1 Launch Webcast

Watch live as Falcon 9 launches BulgariaSat-1, the first geostationary communications satellite in Bulgaria's history.

Posted by SpaceX on Friday, June 23, 2017

This article originally appeared on

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