Early Friday morning, SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea for the second time
. The company has recovered the post-launch vehicle a total of three times, two of which involved the rocket landing on a floating drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Before the launch, the landing was deemed unlikely as the rocket would be "subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating" in its attempt to launch a Japanese communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit high above Earth. Elon Musk tweeted
: "Rocket reentry is a lot faster and hotter than last time, so odds of making it are maybe even, but we should learn a lot either way." As a result of the successful mission, Musk followed up with
, "May need to increase size of rocket storage hangar." The first successful launch was in December
, when the rocket landed at a ground-based spaceport in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The second landing occurred in April
on a floating drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.