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SpaceX's Falcon 9 first stage booster lands at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., nine minutes after the successful launch of ORBCOMM's OG2 communications satellites from the Cape on Dec. 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Michael Seeley, SpaceFlight Insider.

​SpaceX on Dec. 21 made history in space travel, successfully landing a reuseable Falcon 9 booster rocket for the first time after a launch at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. The company, led by PayPal founder Elon Musk, has been vying for Air Force contracts in addition to NASA resupply missions, with cost efficiency a large selling point for government work. The reuseable booster is a major push by the company to lower the overall cost of space travel by refurbishing rockets for successive missions as opposed to manufacturing a new rocket for each launch. At 8:29 p.m., a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying a commercial payload lifted off from Cape Canaveral. Following separation, the Falcon 9 rocket landed back at the station, about 10 minutes after launch, according to a 45th Space Wing release. The successful launch and landing followed failed attempts to land a Falcon 9 on ships at sea and the disintegration of a Falcon 9 during a NASA resupply mission in June. The Air Force in May certified the Falcon 9 for national security space launches.