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SpaceX Sends First Commercial Craft into Space

News that SpaceX, the privately owned company that has been trying to send their own rocket into space, and finally did so today, has rocked the worlds of science and business at the same time. This marks the first time a non-governmental craft has flown to outer-space.

Well, as they say, there goes the neighborhood.

The SpaceX rocket, known as the Falcon 9 (because, after all, if it isn’t one falcon thing, it’s another…) launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the former location of the NASA shuttle launches, which were ended last year, when the last shuttle was retired, presumably to enjoy fishing and fine dining in its autumn years.

The Falcon 9, carrying the capsule dubbed “Dragon” made it into orbit, went twice around the world, and then returned to Earth’s atmosphere, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean because, first-off, it’s as traditional as SpaceX’s choice of launch site and secondly- hey, even NASA couldn’t miss a landing zone that big, and why not use the Pacific Ocean? It’s free, right?

Although the capsule was empty, in the future the intention is to carry astronauts and supplies up to the International Space Station, replacing the NASA shuttles that used to do this job. I’m sure out-sourcing to a private company will be without problems. That worked out Ok in Iraq with Blackwater USA, right? Actually, to be fair, I’m sure private companies will probably do a much better job at managing costs and budget over-runs than NASA, although admittedly, that does qualify as faint praise.

There was a slight delay at Falcon 9’s launch, although it was discovered that the NASA facilities, and not the rocket, were where the problem lay. Shortly after that, the rocket slid smoothly out of our atmosphere and into a brave new future, no doubt to be filled with satellite billboards that can be seen half the world over at a time. Brave New Off-World, indeed.

So, keep your eyes open for SpaceX to eventually move towards commercial space travel, with International Orbiting Hotels and Super-Saver fares of just under $1,000,000 (taxes and additional surcharges not included…). So, for your future off-world travel plans, it’s SpaceX. Because X marks the spot… in Space!

Falcon 9 Launch

Filed under: Business,Follow-Up Stories,Science News,Technology — Tags: , , , , — Positronic Dave @ 7:21 pm June 4, 2010


The Falcon 9 launch that we spoke of earlier today, in our Spacex story, remember that? Well, we are happy to announce that it… oops, wait. No, never mind. It didn’t happen.

Almost, but not. The Falcon 9 rocket’s maiden voyage was aborted just after ignition at Cape Canaveral today. I hope Cape Canveral has a “no deposit refunded” policy. That’s stuff expensive, successful launch or no.

But Spacex said it plans to try again tomorrow, which is all you can do in the “everything