Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Falcon 9 Launch
I went to Montauk for a long weekend and wasn't able to do any work while I was there (or I should say, I was decidedly against doing work while I was there!). So a few stories slipped through the cracks in my absence.
The big news we missed was the first Falcon 9 launch! The SpaceX rocket lifted off Friday at 2:45 eastern and successfully reached orbit shortly thereafter.
The Falcon 9 is designed to carry the Dragon capsule, which will be used for resupply missions to the International Space Station and is eventually intended to carry up to seven astronauts into low-Earth orbit. The Falcon 9 is also the vehicle of choice for Bigelow Aerospace's upcoming inflatable space station.
In spite of the controversy surrounding the Obama plan for the future of NASA, this really is an exciting time for manned commercial spaceflight. If you're like me, you've grown up hoping that you might live to see the day that regular, non-millionaire passengers might be able to fly in space. And even though that might still be a long way off, these are important first steps.