The twice-flown booster last used during the CRS-13 mission will
go on display at Space Center Houston this summer. [credit:
Ten days before Christmas 2017, a Falcon 9 rocket blasted a
Dragon spacecraft into orbit. The first stage then performed a
series of engine burns and landed safely along the Florida
coastline. The core has remained in storage since then.
Absent a costly, time-consuming renovation, this “full-thrust”
Falcon 9 rocket will never fly into space again. SpaceX prefers to
re-fly its newer “Block
5” version of the Falcon 9, which incorporated reuse lessons
learned from earlier flights like the ones this rocket core had
made. This rocket’s job, therefore, was seemingly done.
But William Harris, the president and chief executive of Space
Center Houston, thought he knew of a way rockets like this one
could still serve the aerospace enterprise, albeit in a different
way. Although such a Falcon 9 rocket would no longer fire its
engines, it could still inflame the enthusiasm of young people.
Source: FS – All – Science – News
SpaceX donates first-stage booster to space museum in Houston