The ancient world had seven wonders, although only one survives, the Great Pyramid of Giza. But today we need to add a new wonder of the world, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX Corporation, that successfully left Earth and then relanded without damage.
To borrow a term from gymnastics, it stuck its landing perfectly. To see the video feed of the landing, click on the image above.
The first stage reached a height of approximately 100 km (60 miles) before executing a complicated maneuver that allowed it to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere in an upright position, and land back at Cape Canveral.
For more of the physics of the problem of landing a rocket stage, see here.
For another tantalizing view of the stage 1 reentry, from a helicopter filming nearby, click here.