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Falcon 9 landed unharmed after orbit.

Close-up Of The First Stage Of The Falcon 9 Rocket That SpaceX Landed During An Orbital Launch On Dec. 21, 2015.
Credit: SpaceX

“Falcon 9 back in the hangar at Cape Canaveral. No damage found, ready to fire again,” Musk wrote in an Instagram post on Dec. 31, which accompanied a photo of the booster.

SpaceX plans to perform a “static fire” of the landed rocket stage on the ground at Cape Canaveral at some point, to confirm that all of the stage’s systems are working well and that the booster could achieve full thrust during a re-flight mission, Musk said during a teleconference with reporters on Dec. 21 shortly after the landing. On Dec. 23, NASA released a video showing new views of the Falcon 9 landing.

This particular Falcon 9 stage will not take to the skies again, however; SpaceX aims to preserve it as a sort of museum piece, Musk added. But the company does intend to land and then re-fly a booster in the near future, he said.

“We have quite a big flight manifest, and we should be doing well over a dozen flights next year,” Musk said during the Dec. 21 teleconference. “So I think, probably sometime next year, we will aim to re-fly one of the rocket boosters.”

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