If you need to start a program from the command line, and want to recover the command prompt, just add the & symbol to the command.

Example.

firefox

This command will start firefox, but the command prompt will not be available for you to continue working.

firefox &

With this other you will get the prompt back to you, and you can continue using the console for other tasks, It also returns you a number that number is the PID of the application just started.