SpaceX's Falcon 9
SpaceX's Falcon 9SpaceX

After receiving a setback following the explosion of its Falcon 9 Full Thrust launch vehicle at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida a few months ago, SpaceX returned to action earlier this month.

Now, the American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company is set to launch, perhaps its last expendable rockets, after which it will move to reusable ones.

SpaceX will take the 5.5 metric tons heavy EchoStar 23 communications satellite to geostationary transfer orbit as early as January 30 in a disposable Falcon 9 rocket, but will launch only reusable rockets after the arrival of Block 5. 

[READ: SpaceX Falcon 9: Here's why the launch is delayed again; now set for Saturday]

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter, while responding to a query, that it will use expendable rocket for its upcoming EchoStar satellite launch, but "Future flights will go on Falcon Heavy or the upgraded Falcon 9."

He went on to say that Falcon Heavy or the upgraded Falcon 9 is the "final upgrade of the Falcon architecture" that will fly by the end of this year. The upgrade will "significantly improve performance & ease of reusability," he wrote.

SpaceX has proved that it can indeed bring back rockets home, but it is still unclear if it will be feasible owing to the fact that they have to be refurbished again before reusing them and it can be time-consuming. Perhaps the company may reuse the rockets only once or twice before retiring them.

It may be noted that Falcon 9 rocket is designed to carry heavier payloads and Musk had hinted at the existence of Block 5 or upgraded version of Falcon 9 in 2015. He said at the Reddit AMA: "Final Falcon 9 has a lot of minor refinements that collectively are important, but upgraded thrust and improved legs are the most significant," adding, "the big booster will have an easier time of things than Falcon, as the mass ratio of the stages is lower and it will have lower density. Net result is that it won't come in quite as hot and fast as Falcon, so Falcon should be a bounding case on the big booster."

(Source: Twitter)