SpaceX, in 2010, was the first private company to launch a payload into orbit and return it to Earth intact. This is something only government agencies, such as NASA and Russia’s Roscosmos, have done before.
The Falcon 9 rocket that Spacex uses has an upright landing and recovery system that was first tested and achieved on Dec. 21 2015, was another first. Blue Origin, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, sent a rocket to the edge of space and landed it upright earlier this year, but it was a demonstration flight and did not achieve orbit.
Roughly 80% of the parts used to make the rocket are made in the same factory which reduces the cost of outsourcing. When the Falcon 9 rocket first flew it costed $440 million, about a third of what it would have costed NASA.