After overcoming enormous problems, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully took off for ISS on May 22, 2012. At then, SpaceX authority mentioned that after completing its mission, the Falcon 9 rocket would land in the Atlantic Ocean. And lately, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that Falcon 9 has successfully and softly landed in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Falcon 9 rocket used a powered descent to soften its landing in the Atlantic Ocean. This is the very first time, such technique has been used on a mission. Controlled descents can greatly reduce spaceflight’s costs by removing the need to manufacture new rockets for each launch.
The rocket splashed down into the ocean in a vertical position with the legs deployed. It transmitted data for about 8 seconds after reaching the water. The transmission stopped after the stage tipped over into a horizontal position.
After the successful landing, Elon Musk said during a press conference, “There was a successful soft landing of the Falcon 9 first stage into the ocean. We have sensors on each individual leg [of the rocket] and GPS units. They all agree [that it landed stably]. If we recover it from the ocean it’ll probably take a couple of months to refurbish for flight.”
On the other side, while a soft landing ultimately allows the private spaceflight company to re-use rockets, this particular one will probably not be used again as heavy seas destroyed the rocket before recovery operations could retrieve it. However, the historic first controlled landing of a liquid booster was tracked by telemetry. See the video where Musk was saying about the successful landing of the rocket.