SpaceX's Falcon9 rocket booster lights its engine as it makes its landing (left side), while the second stage of the rocket powers the satellite into space (right side). Image: SpaceX.

SpaceX launched a satellite for Argentina's space agency on Sunday evening and successfully landed the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket at its West Coast facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This was the company's first-ever dry-ground landing on the West Coast, at a launch pad that had previously been used by the Air Force dating back to the 1960s.

Why it matters: To date, SpaceX has been launching and recovering Falcon 9 rocket boosters at sea on the West Coast, but this was the first time it has recovered a rocket on land there.

The milestone means the space company has more flexibility to operate on the West Coast, launching payloads to a greater variety of orbits. Previous land recoveries had taken place at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Landing and reusing rockets is key to SpaceX's goal of reducing the cost of access to space. Other companies, such as Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, are also pursuing similar strategies of rocket recycling.

Go deeper: Special report: The new global race to space

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 31,779,835 — Total deaths: 975,104 — Total recoveries: 21,890,442Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 6,933,548 — Total deaths: 201,884 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: CDC director says over 90% of Americans have not yet been exposed to coronavirus — Supply shortages continue to plague testing.
  4. Politics: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tests positive for coronavirus — Poll says 51% of Republicans trust Trump on coronavirus more than the CDC.
  5. Technology: The tech solutions of 2020 may be sapping our resolve to beat the coronavirus
  6. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
  7. Sports: Less travel is causing the NBA to see better basketball.
  8. Future: America's halfway coronavirus response

"Not enough": Protesters react to no murder charges in Breonna Taylor case

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Brett Hankison, one of the Louisville police officers who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March, on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots blindly into neighboring apartments.

Details: Angering protesters, the grand jury did not indict any of the three officers involved in the botched drug raid on homicide or manslaughter charges related to the death of Taylor.

Two officers shot in Louisville amid Breonna Taylor protests

Police officers stand guard during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Ben Hendren/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Louisville Metro Police Department said two officers were shot downtown in the Kentucky city late Wednesday, just hours after a grand jury announced an indictment in the Breonna Taylor case.

Details: A police spokesperson told a press briefing a suspect was in custody and that the injuries of both officers were not life-threatening. One officer was "alert and stable" and the other was undergoing surgery, he said.

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