01:17 - Source: SpaceX
SpaceX: Falcon 9 has landed

Story highlights

The rocket's first-stage booster successfully lands on a ship off Florida

Most boosters are discarded after launch, often burning up on re-entry

CNN —  

SpaceX landed one of its rockets on an offshore platform Friday, the third time in two months the private space exploration firm has made a successful landing at sea.

The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket sent a Thai communications satellite into orbit Friday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Then, the first-stage booster landed on the deck of a drone ship off Florida.

Most first-stage boosters that have carried people or satellites to space over the past 58 years have been discarded after their launch, often burning up upon re-entry.

But landing rockets upright is crucial to cutting the cost of space travel, since they can be reused.

SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, repeated a success made earlier this month when it launched its latest Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral.

The company’s first successful sea landing was made April 8.

After three failed attempts to land a rocket upright on a platform at sea, SpaceX successfully landed one of its Falcon 9 rockets on solid ground after a launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in December.

CNNMoney’s Charles Riley contributed to this report.