SpaceX launched its brand new Falcon 9 rocket on Friday and the flight was a complete success! SpaceFlightNow has a great rundown of the whole sequence of events and some awesome pictures to go along with it (including the one above).

You can watch the official video on the SpaceX Website - listen for everyone cheering in the background whenever the announcer speaks. I was lucky enough to watch this launch live from the SpaceX headquarters and it was one of the most exciting and electric things I've ever seen. When there's this much fuel and power involved there's little room for error so seeing it fly away without a hitch was truly exhilarating!

Later when it flew over Australia many mistook it for a UFO : )

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3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on June 6, 2010 at 8:06pm
This was thrilling--a triumph of commercial space and entrepreneurialism. Humbling to see the complexity of a project like that compared to our own tiny efforts to provide an alternative to the industrial aerospace model--but I like to think that we and SpaceX are on different ends of the same spectrum
Comment by Jeff Taylor on June 6, 2010 at 8:37pm
I couldn't agree more - a lot of the cost savings comes from looking at some commercially available part and deciding that it could be done better ourselves for a fraction of the cost. Most in the avionics group are would-be (or actual) DIYDrones members.
Comment by Nima K on June 6, 2010 at 8:58pm
I'm a big admirer of SpaceX. I love the fact that they've even posted the prices for launch and a "user guide" on their website documenting everything from the EMI levels in the cargo fairing to the accelerations and virtually everything about the launcher. I can see Musk's previous experience in the software industry in the way SpaceX is run.
Comment by Jack Crossfire on June 6, 2010 at 10:20pm
Some would say success shows a lack of experience in the software industry. The main question is if he can make money on commercial launches instead of .coms, Air Force, & NASA.
Comment by Jason Lyons on June 6, 2010 at 11:32pm
Considering that Obama is changing the direction that NASA is going in and looking for the free market to offer cheaper ways to get to space, it looks like SpaceX is in the perfect position to take the market leader position in commercial space transport.
Comment by IKE on June 7, 2010 at 5:00am
Nima K, you can find similar 'user guides' in the Ariane and H-IIb websites, it should be common practice among rocket operators. Congratulations to Space X, this is a remarkable achievement.
Comment by Jeff Taylor on June 7, 2010 at 8:03pm
At the moment it's looking like there's quite a bit of interest commercially though I'm not familiar with any confirmed orders outside of NASA COTS. I'm intrigued with your comment on lack of experience re success.. If lack of experience brings success I should be in fortune magazine sometime soon :D


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