SpaceX Rocket Launched, First Commercial Flight To the Space Station Is Underway

By Josh Tyler | 9 years ago

SpaceX is on its way to making history. This morning their Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon spacecraft launched from the SpaceX pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It’s the start of the first ever attempt by a commercial organization to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station and the dawn of a new era in space travel.

This comes after numerous (understandable) delays to their program. This mission, for instance, was originally supposed to launch on Saturday morning but ended up being delayed due to technical problems. This morning was their backup launch window and this time it went off without a hitch.

A few photos from the launch…

And here’s the complete liftoff video…

And a little well-deserved celebration from the SpaceX employees as they applaud the company’s founder, Elon Musk…

The Dragon spacecraft is now separated from its first stage, Falcon rocket and now in orbit. Tomorrow SpaceX says it will continue its orbit as it travels to the International Space Station and if all goes to plan it should dock with the ISS on May 25th. It’s scheduled to return by splashing down in the Pacific Ocean on May 31st.

Keep in mind this is an unmanned flight. SpaceX does intend to begin manned transport but only after they’ve done a few unmanned test-runs. It just makes sense. For now it’s carrying cargo needed by the Space Station’s astronauts and a few oddities, like the ashes of Star Trek’s James Doohan journeying on their way to his final resting place in the void of space.

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