May 22, 2012

SpaceX Launches Today

Ok, so like everybody is talking about how awesome SpaceX is right now. I certainly won't be the first, nor the last, nor the most eloquent. But there is good reason to celebrate today, for today marks the beginning of a new era. You see, they launched their Falcon 9/Dragon combo into orbit. Flawlessly.

Dragons Breath Fatality - SpaceX Wins

Not only that, but this marks the start of a two week mission vetting the Dragon spacecraft. For the next three days it will engage in a series of tests before actually docking with the ISS. It will stay attached for ten days, giving the crew time to unload the cargo and load up Dragon for the return journey. Oh yeah, did I mention that Dragon is the only resupply vehicle that can bring stuff back down? 

So yeah, today was pretty big. I would say just go ask a SpaceX employee, but there probably isn't on near you. Instead, listen in on the wild cheers (at 12:44 a.m. no less) in the webcast of the launch. Those people are going freaking nuts! You have to check it out at 56:30 and especially at 58:30. No private company has launched, orbited, and retrieved a space capsule. No one except SpaceX. They are now in the middle of the mission that will make them first in a new era of commercial space activity. The sky is no longer the limit, thanks to SpaceX.