SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says the Falcon 9 rocket that successfully landed back on Earth after launching a payload of satellites into orbit is in good shape and "ready to fire again."
Musk on Thursday posted a photo of the rocket back at its hangar at Cape Canaveral in Florida. He said the rocket didn’t seem to sustain any damage after its landing — a remarkable feat that could one day usher in an era of reusable rockets and, thereby, much cheaper space flights.
The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral on Dec. 21, sending 11 communications satellites into space before its first-stage booster dramatically landed upright and intact near its launch pad.
Though this particular history-making rocket appeared to be unscathed, Musk has said it’s unlikely to be used for another mission and will probably be put on display instead.
"I think we’ll probably keep this one on ground," Musk said after the landing. "Just because it’s kind of unique, it’s the first one that we’ve brought back. So I think we’ll probably keep this one on the ground, but just confirm through tests that it could fly again."