SpaceX to launch next Falcon 9 rocket this month

It's been a few months now since Elon Musk's SpaceX has conducted one of its rocket launches, but that hiatus may finally be coming to an end. Musk revealed on Twitter today that they were planning to conduct another launch of their Falcon 9 rocket later this month, about three days after a static fire at Cape Canaveral on December 16th.

This would make a December 19th launch SpaceX's first in the last six months, with the last being in June when a Falcon 9 exploded just after launch on it way to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. This upcoming launch will see SpaceX carrying 11 satellites into lower Earth orbit for the telecommunications company Orbcomm.

SpaceX says this month's launch will also use an updated version of the Falcon 9, allowing them to continue their attempts to land the rocket after launch for re-use. Before now, SpaceX has been attempting to land their rockets on a floating platform at sea, with another incident earlier this year being almost successful, but then tipping over at the last second.

This time they will trying to land the rocket on solid ground at Cape Canaveral, possibly taking a hint from Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, which did the same just a few weeks ago. While SpaceX has long been chasing the goal of developing and landing re-usable rockets, it was Blue Origin, another private space agency, that became the first to land their New Shepard rocket after launching it into space.

SpaceX and Blue Origin rely on different techniques when it comes to developing their rockets and landing systems, however maybe this time borrowing the idea of touching down on solid ground will be in SpaceX's favor.

SOURCE Elon Musk/Twitter

VIA The Verge