On Monday, Elon Musk’s SpaceX had the biggest rocket launch and landing in history, but what happens next won’t likely generate the same type of excitement as the landing, shown below:
After shooting one of its Falcon 9 rockets (shown below) into space, SpaceX then turned part of the rocket, called the first stage, around for an epic rocket landing at its Landing Zone 1.
The big idea behind this landing is to spawn a fleet of reusable rockets that can launch, land, re-fuel, and re-launch within a few hours. But that won’t be happening for the first stage that SpaceX retrieved on Monday:
During a teleconference on Monday after the mission, Musk said that SpaceX will not re-fly the retrieved rocket stage.
Instead, the company plans to conduct a ground test similar to the static fire tests that are part of pre-launch preparations, which measure the rocket’s structural integrity, system operations, and engine power.
However, Musk said during the teleconference that SpaceX expects “sometime next year we ought to aim to re-fly one of the rocket boosters,” The Boston Globe’s Justin Bachman reported.
That means we can look forward to more rocket landings like the one on Monday, but it’s going to be a while before we see the rapidly reusable rockets Musk envisions.
“It will take a few years to iron all that out and make sure it all works well,” Musk said. In the meantime, sit tight: We’re watching a spaceflight revolution in the making.
NOW WATCH: Here’s Elon Musk back in 2011, explaining how ridiculously hard it would be for SpaceX to land its first reusable rocket
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