Here’s a high-definition video of SpaceX’s fourth attempt to return the main rocket and land it on a drone ship. This time it worked, so what does all this mean?
Well, for one, the cost of getting a payload into orbit just went down dramatically; anywhere between 30% and 70% depending on who you ask. This is a biggie, no question about that. It means you can get more pay-load into space for the same money, and that means projects that where impractical due to cost now start to look more sane. We’re talking about ideas like; asteroid mining, building larger space craft in orbit, space tourism. It even starts to make the ISS look like it may have a long term future.
Now that SpaceX have changed the numbers, the ideas will not be too far behind.
On a side note: I see the ship is called “Of Course I Still Love You”. This is a little bit of homage to the late Ian M. Banks and his bizarrely named Culture spaceships. It’s from the novel ‘The Player of Games‘.