Elon Musk says his reusable rocket is ready for another launch

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After assessing the damage to the reusable rocket it recently launched, Elon Musk claims SpaceX found nothing of note, and that the rocket is ready to launch again. The ability to reuse rockets will be a massive step forward for space missions, as they’ll significantly reduce the time and resources necessary to conduct those missions, which is why everyone was so interested in the Falcon 9 rocket. The fact that SpaceX was able to not only land the rocket, but land it without sustaining any damage, means reusable rockets are one step closer to becoming the norm.

While you were celebrating New Years Eve, Elon Musk was assessing the damage to SpaceX’s recently landed Falcon 9 rocket. OK, we don’t know that for sure, but the SpaceX founder did tweet a closeup image of the rocket shortly before the clock stroke midnight on E.T. time, so at least part of his attention was turned to work. Falcon 9 is back in the hangar at Cape Canaveral, Musk said on Twitter and Instagram, posting a photo in which the rocket appears to be in very good shape. “No damage found, ready to fire again,” he tweeted. After several unsuccessful attempts to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on an ocean platform, SpaceX finally nailed the landing on solid ground on Dec. 21. The landing is important as it allows SpaceX to re-use the rocket’s first stage on multiple missions, and thus reduce overall cost of spaceflight. A Falcon 9 rocket costs about $16 million to manufacture. Interestingly, Musk said, during a post-landing press call, that the company likely won’t use the Falcon 9 first stage on any new missions, since it’s the first rocket the company successfully brought back to Earth, making it “kind of unique.”

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