"A few minutes after launch, the Falcon 9's first stage separated from the upper stage, then headed back down to Earth to attempt a touchdown on "Just Read the Instructions," one of SpaceX's two robotic "drone ships," which was stationed in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.
The rocket stuck the landing eight minutes after lifting off. SpaceX has now pulled off seven such touchdowns during orbital launches, with five coming on drone ships and two rockets flying back to their launch sites on terra firma. (The previous six landings all occurred after launches from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, between December 2015 and August 2016.)
These rocket touchdowns are part of SpaceX's effort to develop fully and rapidly reusable launch vehicles, a key priority for SpaceX's billionaire founder and CEO, Elon Musk. Such technology could cut the cost of launches dramatically, potentially enabling much greater access to space, Musk has said." Space.com
Musk is just amazing. He must have nerves of steel. The landing of the first stage booster was only a few feet from the bull's eye on the barge. pl