SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon capsule. Image courtesy of SpaceX.
“That’s one small step for [a] man, and one giant leap for mankind.” -Neil Armstrong
Those words spoken years ago marked a big change in the world, not only did we put man into space, we put a man on the moon. Well, here’s another giant leap in the form of the first entirely privately funded company to reach space with the intention of docking a capsule of supplies, experiments, and one day astronauts with the ISS(International Space Station). Before this, only large governments were able to pool the funds together to begin exploring space, but interests have waned, as we’ve seen with NASA ending it’s shuttle program. This marks the first of hopefully many successful ventures from private organizations to explore, study, and experiment in space.
See the video below for some beautiful footage of the rocket launch on May 22, 2012.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered into space and delivered a Dragon cargo capsule into orbit on May 22, 2012. The launch began an ambitious mission to show that the company is ready to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. “We’re now back on the brink of a new future, a future that embraces the innovation the private sector brings to the table,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “The significance of this day cannot be overstated. While there is a lot of work ahead to successfully complete this mission, we are off to a good start.” Working with an instantaneous launch window, SpaceX, short for Space Exploration Technologies of Hawthorne, Calif., proceeded through a flawless countdown. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida came at 3:44 a.m. EDT, just as the station was crossing 249 miles above the North Atlantic. “Every bit of adrenaline in my body released at that moment,” said Elon Musk about the moment the rocket lifted off the pad. Musk is the founder, CEO and chief designer of SpaceX. “People were really giving it their all. For us, it was like winning the Super Bowl.”
Read more at nasa.gov