On December 21, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, deployed 11 satellites, and made a successful vertical landing on land, the first successful land based landing for the spacecraft. In June, a Falcon 9 scheduled to resupply the ISS exploded shortly after launch. This was the first launch after that failure. Previous Falcon 9s were able to successfully deploy satellites.
Saturday morning’s SpaceX launch of a Falcon 9 to the International Space Station was successful, but the experimental portion of the launch, in which the first stage of the rocket was meant to have a soft landing on a floating barge, was less than successful. The barge landing, which was to pave the way for future soft landings which would allow for the first stage to be reused, was a hard landing. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated that the experiment promised more success in the future.
NASA has announced that SpaceX has been given permission to dock the Dragon capsule with the International Space Station. The Dragon will be carried aloft by the Falcon 9 Rocket on February 7, contingent on final safety reviews, testing and verification of the craft.