Watch SpaceX's historic 200th rocket landing in this super-sharp video

SpaceX's stunning launch of dozens of satellites on its Transporter-8 rideshare mission on Monday (June 12) marked a significant milestone for the company's workhorse rocket.

The Transporter-8 mission lifted off Monday afternoon from Launch Complex-4 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, carrying six dozen small satellites toward orbit. But the most interesting action may have come in the downward direction, for the Falcon 9's first stage returned to Earth for the 200th landing in SpaceX's storied history.

SpaceX captured the moment on video and shared it with the rest of us, posting a 30-second clip on Twitter Monday after the launch. The video features crisp footage of the booster coming down at Vandenberg's Landing Zone-4 (LZ-4), just downrange of the launch pad. 

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The first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket comes down for a landing at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on June 12, 2023 after launching the Transporter-8 rideshare mission. It was SpaceX's 200th rocket landing after an orbital launch. (Image credit: SpaceX)

The video shows an airborne Falcon 9 just above LZ-4, as the rocket makes its final descent burn to slow its trajectory before landing. In the high-def footage, the four landing legs at the bottom of the booster can be seen deploying, sequentially dropping from their folded stow against the rocket's body before the vehicle softly touches down.

Rocket launch viewing at Vandenberg is typically hit or miss, as the area's facilities are often covered in thick fog. SpaceX's Transporter-8 launch was fortunate enough to lift off against the backdrop of clear skies, making the Falcon 9 return footage that much better. Even the dust kicked up from the single engine used for landing wasn't enough to fully obscure the rocket's picture-perfect mission success.

SpaceX first pulled off a rocket landing during an orbital mission in December 2015. The vast majority of the company's touchdowns have involved the Falcon 9, though its Falcon Heavy rocket has a number of landings to its name as well.

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Josh Dinner
Writer, Content Manager

Josh Dinner is's Content Manager. He is a writer and photographer with a passion for science and space exploration, and has been working the space beat since 2016. Josh has covered the evolution of NASA's commercial spaceflight partnerships, from early Dragon and Cygnus cargo missions to the ongoing development and launches of crewed missions from the Space Coast, as well as NASA science missions and more. He also enjoys building 1:144 scale models of rockets and human-flown spacecraft. Find some of Josh's launch photography on Instagram and his website, and follow him on Twitter, where he mostly posts in haiku.