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SpaceX's History-Making Falcon 9 Rocket Is Now On Display

(Photo via SpaceX/Flickr)
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You can now go check out one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets for yourself, as one is currently positioned outside of SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne at the corner of Crenshaw Blvd. and Jack Northrop Ave., the L.A. Times reports. You can selfie with it as much as you like, but SpaceX asks you not to touch it. It stands 156 feet tall, according to Space Flight Now. Because SpaceX is located near the Hawthorne Municipal Airport and because the rocket is so tall, they first had to get permission from the FAA, and a light on top of the rocket will be lit at night. This particular rocket did not just make a voyage into space and back; it also made history. In December, it was used to take 11 satellites into low-earth orbit for Orbcomm, a communications company. Then, for the first time in the company's history, they managed to land the rocket vertically on a landing pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Typically, rocket parts are jettisoned into the ocean, so a landing such as this indicates that we may be able to start using reusable rockets, which would obviously save money.

Check out the landing at at 32:25, during which everyone at SpaceX erupts into cheers. And rightfully so: this is not an easy maneuver.

The company's missions haven't always been totally successful. In January, one of the Falcon 9 rockets managed to get a Jason-3 satellite into space, but failed the tricky landing onto an unmanned barge about 200 miles off the coast. However, the company has since launched and landed five more reusable rocket boosters since their first December landing. These rockets may be launched again in the next few months, but the rocket outside SpaceX headquarters will remain on Earth.

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