SpaceX Test Fire of a Recovered Falcon 9 Rocket Looks Good [Video]

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By now, SpaceX has sent a few of its Falcon 9 rockets out of the Earth’s atmosphere and then successfully landed them back on Earth—even when the degree of difficulty was incredibly high. Landing rockets is hard enough, but the entire point is to be able to use them again, which means they need to be thoroughly tested to avoid any mishaps. (SpaceX has had a few even with brand new rockets.)

Now, they’ve test fired one of the rockets that managed to make it home safely—as you can see in the video above—with fairly impressive results. Of course, this is actual rocket science, so just watching video footage of the Falcon 9 firing its engines and confirming, “Yup, it got real loud and firey! It was neat!” isn’t exactly going to cut it as proof that the rocket is truly reusable. The company’s scientists have a lot of tests to run on the rockets recovered so far to make sure they’re fit to boldly go back into space.

It is, however, reassuring, since the engines burned without trouble for a decent stretch of time, and this was the most damaged out of the three Falcon 9s that have returned to Earth so far. This one went farther and faster than the others and took “max damage,” according to SpaceX’s Elon Musk, which is why it will remain grounded and continue to undergo tests for the benefit of future relaunches. If it works this well after the stress it took on its mission, it’s a good bet others with less damage will be fit to fly again.

We don’t yet know when we’ll see the first one fly again, but tests like this bring that moment ever closer.

(via Gizmodo)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.