SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket makes it to space!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Holy f*&k they did it!

I'm mostly away from the computer right now but noticed this news and just had to write about it. It's going to be fun to take a look at the forums later tonight. After three failures and a ton of nail-biting this first success is that much sweeter.

SpaceX has made history. Its privately developed rocket has made it into space.

After three failed launches, the company founded by Elon Musk worked all of the bugs out of their Falcon 1 launch vehicles.

The entire spectacle was broadcast live from Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific. Cameras mounted on the spacecraft showed our planet shrinking in the distance and the empty first stage engine falling back to Earth.

As the rocket ascended, cheers rang out during every crucial step of the launch sequence, and at the final stage their headquarters in Hawthorne, California erupted in excitement. ( viewed the launch over the Internet on SpaceX's live webcast.)

The tensest moment came just before stage separation. At that critical juncture, the third launch attempt had failed. This time, it worked out perfectly.

Eight minutes after leaving the ground, Falcon 1 reached a speed of 5200 meters per second and passed above the International Space Station.

"I don't know what to say... because my mind is just blown," said Musk, during a brief address to his staff after the successful launch. "This is just the first step of many."

Wow. This is a historic moment. The first privately-funded rocket to ever make it to space. My mind is blown too.

Here's a nice comment from that says exactly what I'm thinking:

This is the beginning of cheap, abundant space travel. Right now, Space X can sell an orbital launch to anybody with a few million dollars lying around. Now that space is a competitive industry, the technology is just going to get better and cheaper over time. The day when you take a suborbital hop to visit grandma in China is fast approaching.

Science fiction is becoming science fact before our eyes. This is a kickass time to be alive.

Very well said. This is a kickass time to be alive.

Edit: Here's the video.


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