SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to fly again for first time since explosion

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Almost immediately after SpaceX’s catastrophic Falcon 9 rocket explosion in September, people started wondering when Elon Musk’s private spaceflight company would fly again.

Now, we finally have an answer. 

According to an update released Wednesday, SpaceX is planning to launch its first mission since the mishap in January, after completing its investigation into the accident.

“We are finalizing the investigation into our Sept. 1 anomaly and are working to complete the final steps necessary to safely and reliably return to flight, now in early January with the launch of Iridium-1,” SpaceX said in the statement.  Read more…

More about Falcon 9, Rocket Launch, Rockets, Elon Musk, and Spacex

New website lets you design your own ultra-expensive rocket

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The private spaceflight company United Launch Alliance (ULA) usually plays the stodgy uncle to Elon Musk’s young, swaggering SpaceX. Where SpaceX touts its Silicon Valley-style disruption of the commercial rocket market, ULA prides itself on its reliability.

“Someday I expect the rest of the industry will become as reliable as we are,” ULA CEO Tory Bruno, said in a press conference Wednesday, throwing a little implied shade at the competition.

But now, ULA wants to be the cool kid on the rocket-building block. To do so, ULA has launched a new website to let you virtually build and order your own rocket — assuming you have about $100 million sitting around. Read more…

More about Spacex, Rocket Launches, Commercial Spaceflight, Spaceflight, and Private Spaceflight