Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, delivered communications satellites to orbit before its main-stage booster returned to a landing pad

The high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has hailed a “revolutionary moment” for reusable space hardware after his SpaceX programme successively launched and returned a rocket to earth, landing it in an upright position.

In its first mission since a cargo ship was destroyed in an accident in June, SpaceX sent a Falcon rocket into orbit on Monday night with 11 satellites on board.

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