A few days ago Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully landed a rocket booster after it had lifted a payload into space. Hmm, yawn. Sure, neat - I suppose. Here's what really happened.
So this is what SpaceX did: They took a 12 story rocket weighing 20,000 kilograms moving at 6000 kph, slowed it, stopped it, turned it around, let it fall nearly 200 km to the ground, reignited the engines, had it follow a descent path, automatically correcting its orientation and attitude, until it landed within a few meters of the pre-chosen spot.
This is what the final seconds of that looked like:
That little orange thing slightly to the left of the booster in the bottom photo? That's a man. Think he wasn't impressed?