UPDATE 2-SpaceX rocket launches satellite, then lands on ship at sea

Fri May 6, 2016 2:58am EDT
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* Launch vehicle's main stage booster makes swift return landing

* Landing is the second successful one at sea for SpaceX

* SpaceX intends to reuse rockets to offer cheaper launch services (Adds landing in headline, quotes, further details)

By Irene Klotz

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., May 6 (Reuters) - An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida on Friday to put a communications satellite into orbit, then made a swift return landing on an ocean platform, a live webcast showed.

It was the second successful landing at sea for entrepreneur Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, which intends to offer cut-rate launch services by re-using its rockets.

"Woohoo!!" Musk wrote on social media website Twitter after the landing. "May need to increase size of rocket storage hangar."

SpaceX successfully landed a rocket on a floating landing pad in April after four failed attempts. Another Falcon rocket had touched down on a ground-based landing pad at Cape Canaveral in December.

Before Friday's launch SpaceX had downplayed expectations for the rocket's successful return.   Continued...