You gotta love the amazing things SpaceX is doing with their Grasshopper VTVL (Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing) vehicle!

Grasshopper is a 10-story Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle designed to test the technologies needed to return a rocket back to Earth intact. While most rockets are designed to burn up on atmosphere reentry, SpaceX rockets are being designed not only to withstand reentry, but also to return to the launch pad for a vertical landing. The Grasshopper VTVL vehicle represents a critical step towards this goal.

On June 14th, they flew the Grasshopper higher than the Manhattan Chrysler building.  SpaceRef

Previous Grasshopper tests relied on the other rocket sensors but for this test, an additional, higher accuracy sensor was in the control loop. In other words, SpaceX was directly controlling the vehicle based on new sensor readings, adding a new level of accuracy in sensing the distance between Grasshopper and the ground, enabling a more precise landing.

SRB Floating

Back in the Shuttle days, and possibly in future NASA programs, we of course let the Solid Rocket Boosters fall back to earth and splash in the ocean.  They would then be towed back to land and completely refurbished.  This sure is a whole new twist to the “reusable” rocket paradigm.