Wait a minute.... Did Elon Musk just hint SpaceX will fly its victorious Falcon 9 rocket a second time?! We knew reusability was the long-term plan, but if they pull it off on the first attempt it’ll bump their celebrations up to a whole new level.

We were all impressed when SpaceX literally landed spot-on its giant X earlier this month. But we thought that even though the landing was perfect, this particular Falcon 9 rocket would never fly again. But now thanks to a comment from SpaceX’s leader, Elon Musk, we’re not so sure:

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This probably means that the rocket is ready for test firing here on the ground to analyze what happened to it, then shoving it into a museum. Yet the phrasing is just ambiguous enough to raise eyebrows far too late on New Year’s Eve to get formal comment on what’s happening next. Will the rocket suffer from first-astronaut syndrome, doomed like Yuri Gagarin to be earthbound forever more? Or will it be the first to not just land, but launch again in a blaze of fiery glory?

Either way, the excellent condition of the rocket is certainly worthy of celebration. Congratulations, SpaceX, and may all your rockets come home safely.

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Top image: Falcon 9 rocket first stage returned from space, landed safely, and back in the hanger demonstrating what “normal wear” looks like on a rocket’s paint job. Credit: SpaceX


Contact the author at mika.mckinnon@io9.com or follow her at @MikaMcKinnon.