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Elon Musk confirms date for next SpaceX rocket launch

SpaceX is planning to launch its Falcon 9 rocket next week, chief executive and Tesla boss Elon Musk revealed on Twitter, just months after its last mission ended in the rocket exploding.

This would put the data of the launch on December 19 from the Cape Canaveral site.

SpaceX is the private space exploration company of Musk. The rocket is set to send 11 Orbcomm communication satellites into orbit.

Orbcomm's CEO first hinted that a flight could be near via a tweet on Wednesday.

It marks the first flight since the last mission when the Falcon 9 rocket exploded in June carrying supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). At the time, Musk described it as a "huge blow" to SpaceX. After the incident, the company launched an investigation into the incident and concluded a faulty steel strut in the rocket's fuel tank was behind the incident. Since then, SpaceX has made upgrades to the Falcon 9.

The launch next week will be a big moment for SpaceX as it will eventually be transporting NASA astronauts to the ISS by 2017.

This time around, SpaceX will also be trying to land its vehicle back on solid ground. So far, the company has attempted to land its rocket on ships which are stationed out at sea after releasing the vehicle into space. Typically, the rocket is lost after the vehicle attached to it is sent into space, making the cost of space travel expensive. By landing the rocket back on land, SpaceX will be hoping to make the Falcon 9 reusable.

Musk will be particularly keen to make this possible after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced his space company, Blue Origin, had successfully landed its rocket back on earth after the launch.