Falcon 1 Launch Success! SpaceX Makes History (Video)

The second stage of Falcon 1, functioning perfectly with the curvature of the Earth below (SpaceX)
The second stage of Falcon 1, functioning perfectly with the curvature of the Earth below (SpaceX)

Today marks the day when the first ever commercial space vehicle was launched into orbit. SpaceX will be relieved that Flight 4 of the Falcon 1 rocket was successful; the previous three had failed. Flight 3, last month, was carrying a commercial payload when an anomaly with the first stage separation brought disaster to the mission. So, the pressure was on the Californian company and its founder Elon Musk, should this flight have failed it might have been the last…

Musk must have have breathed a sigh of relief when it was confirmed that his dream of providing a viable commercial space delivery system was in orbit around Earth. This is the first time that a private rocket has ever succeeded in such a task.

Fourth time’s a charm […] This really means a lot. There’s only a handful of countries on Earth that have done this. It’s usually a country thing, not a company thing. We did it.” – Elon Musk makes his long-awaited victorious speech in front of his celebrating employees.

Rather than risking the loss of another payload, Flight 4 carried a dummy cargo weighing 364 lb (165 kg). Now it appears the company has perfected the art of rocketeering, Musk has pledged to commence full-scale commercial launches.

Last month we sadly saw the streaming video of Falcon 1’s separating first stage bump back into the igniting second stage, thereby ending the ascent prematurely. Previous attempts have also failed through fuel leaks and technical issues.

But now, with today’s historic launch, may the future be much brighter as SpaceX paves the way toward the full-scale commercialization of space…

Congratulations Elon and all the scientists, engineers and staff at SpaceX!

Source: AP, SpaceX

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