After three years just as many failed launches, and a couple of lost satellites, private rocket company SpaceX successfully delivered its first payload into orbit yesterday using their Falcon 1 rocket.
The rocket launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, and reached space after a ten minute flight. The payload consisted of a Malaysian satellite named RazakSAT, which will take high resolution pictures of Malaysia (think Google Earth).
This launch is a landmark for privately funded space flight. Last year, SpaceX won a contract to supply the International Space Station after the shuttle retires, and this launch stands as the first physical proof that SpaceX can get the job done.
To further develop their space delivery capability, SpaceX plans to follow this launch up later in the year with a launch of their larger rocket, Falcon 9.
As the above video shows, the launch went off without a hitch, and as the below photo shows, SpaceX mission control was pretty damn happy about it.
That was an awesome video. I'm curious.... the first stage comes back to earth and is retrieved. What happens to the second stage after it deploys its payload?
Cheers to SpaceX!
Way to go, SpaceX! WE THE PEOPLE look forward to a much more cost effective mass boosting program and hope we will be using your services Much More Extensively In The Future. Hey U.S., we have a new partner in space! With new talent on the market, can't WE THE PEOPLE vote out any of the kings or princes of OUR space program that are getting in OUR way as WE endeavor to "Go to the Moon' and "Do the Other Thing"? HEY SpaceX!!! Start training up a personell pool of top Program Managers to choose from!
that was a cool vid.. Good job SpaceX. Its a relef that there is another space agency that will b able to supply the ISS