HolidayBuyer's Guide

Elon Musk says SpaceX's first reusable Falcon 9 rocket is 'ready to fire again'

Last month, SpaceX sent satellites to space with a Falcon 9 rocket, landing it safely on Earth 10 minutes later for the first time ever. Now it's ready to go again.

SpaceX lands a Falcon 9 rocket that went to space for the first time.

Photo by SpaceX

For the first time, a rocket carried a payload to space and is now ready to be reused, rather than just sinking to the bottom of the ocean like a treasure chest loaded with an unusable currency.

At least, that's what SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced on Twitter on New Year's Eve. Musk tweeted an update on the Falcon 9 rocket that carried a load of satellites to orbit last month and then landed safely at Cape Canaveral rather than falling into the Atlantic Ocean as so many space program rockets have ended for decades.

Musk says that following inspection, the rocket was found free of damage and "ready to fire again."

Rockets that can be reused are a major part of the SpaceX mission to drive down the cost of accessing space, and the successful December 21 landing of the Falcon 9 was a major milestone, even if Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin accomplished a rocket landing weeks before Musk.

The Blue Origin New Sheperd rocket merely touched the edge of space and fell back to Earth, whereas SpaceX actually completed a commercial mission in the process of making history.

Of course, just because the only used, intact Falcon 9 is ready to fly again doesn't mean it will. Musk told reporters on a call last month that "I think we'll probably keep this one on the ground... (since) it's the first one we've brought back."

Close
Drag