The flight is part of the testing phase in the development cycle which started last month. "We've begun testing reusability with something called the Grasshopper Project, which is a Falcon 9 first stage with landing gear that can take off and land vertically," Musk told Wired. "The stages go to orbit, then the first stage turns around, restarts the engines, boosts back to the launch site, reorients, deploys landing gear, and lands vertically."
Again, the idea is to reuse the rockets. By developing rockets that can come back down and land, SpaceX will be able to cut down on resources needed to get off the ground.
[Source: Business Insider]