Monday, June 7, 2010

Successful SpaceX Falcon 9 launch into orbit

A lot has happen while I've been away and I linked to a few stories in my previous post.
But more really cool stuff has happened as well. One of the coolest being the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle and the delivery of the Dragon capsule into orbit last Friday (June 4th).
Official video of the launch can be seen here.

What's so incredibly cool about this (besides the obvious fact that rockets and launches are just inherently cool) is that this is the first successful attempt for a private company to launch a reusable cargo-carrying capsule into LEO (low Earth orbit). This means that from now on, we are no longer reliant on the national space agencies when sending stuff into orbit or when resupplying the ISS (which SpaceX previously won a $1.6 billion contract for). Habitation Intention has a wonderful post about the significance of this event.
The Space Review has a longer post about the launch itself and the path ahead for SpaceX.

The is going to be awesome. In time we'll have more companies doing this and an entire space flight industry will have been born. Orbital hotels and moon vacations just came a little bit closer ;)

But of course cool scientific stuff like this always brings out the crazies and the conspiracy nuts. Go read about them here.