[Cape Canaveral, FL] After scrubbing the first attempt at the last possible second, at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday, SpaceX successfully launched its flagship Falcon 9 rocket into orbit and with it, the Dragon spacecraft.
The mission – which includes docking the Dragon spacecraft with the International Space Station (ISS) – is a first for a commercial company.
“I would like to start off by saying what a tremendous honor it has been to work with NASA. … We could not have started SpaceX, nor could we have reached this point without the help of NASA,” said SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk at a post-launch press conference.
“It’s really been an honor to work with such great people,” he said.
Although the lift-off delivery of the Dragon into the proper orbit were joyous occasions for Musk and his company, there are still many critical stages left to the mission.
“We obviously have to go through a number of steps to berth with the Space Station, but everything is looking really good and I think I would count today as a success no matter what happens with the rest of the mission,” Musk said.
It was the third consecutive successful launch for the Falcon 9, and the fifth straight launch success overall for SpaceX. In his press conference comments, Musk likened the significance of the event to the Internet, which started out as a government project before being commercialized.
“That move dramatically accelerated the pace of advancement and made the Internet accessible to the mass market,” said Musk. “I think we’re at a similar inflection point for space.”
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate
Image: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket’s 9 engines ignite during launch from SpaceX launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, May 22, 2012. (Photo: SpaceX)
For Scotty of ‘Star Trek,’ others, space is really the final frontier as ashes … (The Washington Post) Their ashes — and those of about 300 others — were aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket that blasted into orbit Tuesday as part of an in-space for-profit burial business. Shrake was an engineer who designed spaceship control instruments for NASA’s Jet …