Will the Falcon Fly Again?

Originally, all indications were that it would perform a test firing but would not fly again.  But a recent tweet by Elon Musk has people wondering if SpaceX might use it again after all.  He posted “Falcon 9 back in the hangar at Cape Canaveral. No damage found, ready to fire again.”  I still think they’ll stick to the original plan, and just do a test firing to inaugurate LC39A in its new Falcon 9 configuration before hauling it back, either for museum display (like their original Dragon capsule, which hangs above their mission control room) or to be cut up for more destructive testing to really analyze its structural condition.  Although, Musk has said he wants to refly a stage sometime this year (2016), so perhaps this would be the one.  Either way, it’s actually looking impressively hale and hearty after its flight:

Falcon9-postflight

YouTube user Shannon Gordon was in the right spot at the right time to make a chance sighting of the used booster moving into the hangar near LC39A.  Note the crawlerway to the lower left of the image, and in the background at left, the ramp up to the pad, built in the 1960s for Saturn V, and in the second video, 39A much more visible, including the Space Shuttle’s Fixed and Rotating Service Structures, which SpaceX has not yet removed (and perhaps won’t, if it doesn’t need to).  Clearly, Falcon will have a much shorter rollout than its more massive predecessors.

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