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
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.
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.