Space

Elon Musk says Falcon 9 ready to go again

Elon Musk says Falcon 9 ready ...
The Falcon 9 made the world's first powered control landing of a space rocket
The Falcon 9 made the world's first powered control landing of a space rocket
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Elon Musk tweeted the announcement
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Elon Musk tweeted the announcement
The Falcon 9 made the world's first powered control landing of a space rocket
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The Falcon 9 made the world's first powered control landing of a space rocket
Falcon 9 touches down
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Falcon 9 touches down

The Falcon 9 booster that made the historic first powered controlled landing of a space rocket is good to go again. According to a tweet from SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, the "Falcon 9 [is] back in hangar at Cape Canaveral. No damage found, ready to fire again." However, the future of the now-famous rocket is probably earthbound.

On December 21, 2015, the Falcon 9 booster flew into the history books as it touched down on Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Ten minutes previously, the nine-engine rocket had thundered into space to deliver 11 communications satellites into low-Earth orbit. It then fired its engines twice again to kill its hypersonic velocity and steer it back to the Cape, where it set down on a dramatic tail of fire.

Falcon 9 touches down
Falcon 9 touches down

The landing was the latest step by SpaceX to create a fully reusable launch system that may bring down costs by allowing rockets to be quickly returned to the launch site. Once there, they can be quickly refueled and reused like aircraft rather than left to crash into the ocean or burn up in the atmosphere after one flight.

Elon Musk tweeted the announcement
Elon Musk tweeted the announcement

Though the Falcon 9 is none the worse for wear after its brief trip into space, it's unlikely to ever fly again. In a previous statement, a company spokesman said that because of its historic value, this particular rocket will be preserved and only used for static test firing to see how well the systems operate after the landing.

Source: SpaceX

14 comments
mhpr262
I wonder if the other reused rocket stages will get a new coat of paint before they are sent back up again, or if they will just be sent up again looking like the one in the picture. The "shabby look" would actually look pretty cool for a change.
REScott
@mhpr262 I agree however there is likely a protection afforded by the coating, possibly ablative etc, therefore I expect it would need to be removed/replaced. I do agree though, would look pretty cool.
natosoco
This is so cool. Seeing huge progress like this gives me hope that someday, I might actually be able to go to space. That would be so cool.
Grunchy
I'm positive they did this same thing on the moon in the '60s and the '70s. Except they did it with astronauts on board.
MattII
@Grunchy, it's not the same, because on the moon they left the descent stage behind.
QuietImpact
@Grunhy @Mattll In addition to leaving stuff behind, isn't there less of an atmosphere and less gravity on the moon.....
owlbeyou
I wonder if this attempt to re-use a rocket booster is really cost effective, or is it just to give it a recycled feel to the project. What was once a simpler boosting module now has a much more involved and costlier re-entry mechanism, (and is now worth saving). Still, Elon Musk deserves a big shout out for re-engineering and invigorating the space program, and everything else that this man gets his hands on!
Joe Mamma
Why is everyone speaking as if this technology is innovative and un heard of?? Gyscopes have been around for decades. this approach to rocketry was dropped previously due to high cost of maintenance, added weight in equipment and fuel which will raise the cost to launch usable cargo. Solid became far less costly and safer For all you young Millenials who are not familiar with the original apollo program and the reseach and technology that came from it, you neeed to study the history some more.
habakak
Yep Grunchy, not even close to the same. On the moon I could possibly dunk into a 15 foot basketball hoop. That doesn't make Michael Jordan my bitch on earth though.
Joe Mamma
Elon is just burning thru our tax dollars by re-facing old technology in order to wow the younger generations. He's spending government grant money and nothing more. Elon is nothing more than an opportunist profiteer.. I have yet to see anything innovative that he has put out. All recycled technology with a different paint job, subsidized by tax payer's dollars. He's the epitome of corporate welfare by producing technology only the wealthy can afford while he gets rich from US government subsidies. His companies are not scheduled to be profitable until 2022!.. That is if the government doesn’t cut subsidies for his products first.. If that happens he’ll go out of business before then