Video: SpaceX Falcon 1 – First Private Rocket To Reach Orbit.

FILED UNDER: Science, Space, Technology

SpaceX today made history with a successful launch of their Falcon 1 rocket. It has set a new record, becoming the first ever privately developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth. This was the company’s fourth attempt at reaching orbit. The last rocket in August failed with a payload of two NASA satellites and the ashes of 208 people, including those of Star Trek’s James “Scotty” Doohan.

The successful fourth flight was launched from Omelek Island, 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. The Falcon 1 is a 70-foot tall, two-stage rocket that runs on liquid-oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene. It was developed with the help of only 550 employees and was made entirely from scratch. Gotta love the efficiency of private enterprise.

SpaceX will be following up with another Falcon 1 launch shortly, apparently carrying a Malaysian “RazakSat” satellite. If this flight is also successful, SpaceX will make preparations for the first flight of its considerably larger Falcon 9 rocket. This should take place around the second quarter of 2009.

The company’s founder, Elon Musk, must be ecstatic with this achievement. The entrepreneur put up $100 million of the company’s $120 million startup capital to realize this goal.

SpaceX and TechCrunch


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