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SpaceX’s 'reusable' Falcon 9 rocket won’t fly again, Elon Musk says

SpaceX’s 'reusable' Falcon 9 rocket won’t fly again, Elon Musk says


A small step toward reusability, not a leap

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The history-making Falcon 9 first stage will never fly again, Elon Musk said during a press call this evening. "I think we’ll probably keep this one on the ground," he said, "just [because] it’s kind of unique, it’s the first one we’ve brought back."

The plan, Musk said, is to take the booster from Landing Zone 1 to SpaceX's other site at Cape Canaveral, Launch Complex 39A. There, the company will perform a static fire test — where the rocket is held down and the engines are fired at full thrust — on the launchpad to confirm that the rocket's systems are still in good shape. After that, the company will find out whether this particular rocket could fly again. But SpaceX won't try to fly a landed Falcon 9 again until "sometime next year," according to Musk.

Monday's historic launch and landing was a big first step toward making rockets reusable. But it’s only a step, because this booster — which could be reused — won’t be.

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