2008-09-28

SpaceX Reaches Orbit

The coolest thing to happen to you US government and a US corporations this week had nothing to do with the Treasurey Department.

It had nothing to do with the FDIC.
It had nothing to do with the SEC.
It had nothing to do with the bailout.
It had nothing to do with the Jim Lehrer hosted debate between Obama and McCain.

It didn't happen in Washington or New York.

On a sunny island on the Pacific Ocean, SpaceX made history on 2008-09-28. It became the first private company in the history of the world to put a vehicle in orbit around the Earth.

This is a game changer.

A successful private space industry has the potential to lower costs and make space more accessible to people and corporations. It has the potential to help NASA bridge the gap between the retirement of the space shuttle and the launch of its successor. It has the potential to free NASA from the business of taking short trips to Earth orbit and enable it to dream big with planetary and deep space exploration.

A new era in space travel starts...now.

From Wired:

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.

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Eight minutes after leaving the ground, Falcon 1 reached a speed of 5200 meters per second and passed above the International Space Station.
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With Flight 4 under its belt, SpaceX is gearing up for additional launches in 2009. Flight 5 could fly as soon as January, Flight 6 parts are on order and Flight 7 production will begin in early 2009.

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In addition to Falcon 1, SpaceX is planning a second model two-stage, Merlin-powered rocket known as Falcon 9. It is expected to cost $35 million USD, and is designed to boost 9,900 kg to low earth orbit, and 4,900 kg to geostationary transfer orbit. SpaceX is also planning a Falcon 9 Heavy model capable of carrying bigger payloads, and also a space craft with a pressurized cabin unit known as Dragon.

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1 comment:

Rich Dansereau said...

This is a huge and exciting development. There will of course be government oversight for safety reasons, but private industry will monetize space travel. This may mean we will be able to experience space travel in our lifetime.