SpaceX’s Falcon 9, the world’s first orbital class reusable two-stage rocket for transport of humans and cargo into Earth orbit and beyond deep space. Powered by nine Merlin engines using rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) and liquid oxygen as propellants held in aluminum-lithium alloy tanks, designed for recovery and reuse.
Burning fuel decreases the rocket’s mass and changes vehicle dynamics near the end of first-stage flight, therefore the engines are throttled down to limit acceleration.
The engines are used to re-orient and decelerate the first stage prior to re-entry and landing. The Falcon 9 first stage landing legs are placed symmetrically at the base, constructed from carbon-fiber and aluminium-honeycomb composite material, they deploy prior to landing.