SpaceX launches Falcon 9 on historic mission

2011 witnessed the final Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) and the subsequent retirement of the fleet. Two private companies – SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corporation – were selected to provide cargo delivery services to the station until 2015, under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.

SpaceX developed the Falcon 9 – a medium-lift rocket with payload capacity of 10,450 kilograms (23,000 lb). Today, it became the first 100% commercially developed launcher to deliver a payload to the International Space Station.

NASA’s administrator Charles Bolden said: “Today marks the beginning of a new era in exploration… The significance of this day cannot be overstated; a private company has launched a spacecraft to the International Space Station that will attempt to dock there for the first time. And while there is a lot of work ahead to successfully complete this mission, we are certainly off to a good start.”

In 2013, SpaceX is planning to test a much larger rocket, with over twice the capacity of the Space Shuttle – the Falcon Heavy.

Video from NewsyScience:

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2 Responses to “SpaceX launches Falcon 9 on historic mission”

  1. Russian Space Chief: “We’re Talking About Establishing Permanent Bases” On the Moon « Futuretimeline.net | Technology | Singularity | 2020 | 2050 | 2100 Says:

    [...] Bolden was absent from the conference. This is because he was in Florida, watching the launch of Falcon 9 to the International Space [...]

  2. A permanent base on Mars by 2023? « Futuretimeline.net | Technology | Singularity | 2020 | 2050 | 2100 Says:

    [...] Adventures offering lunar tourism, the world’s first commercial spaceport, the launch of Falcon 9 by SpaceX, Russian and Japanese plans for Moon missions, and a revolutionary new rocket engine. [...]

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