SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket

Filed under: Florida News,Hidden Orlando |

SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket this morning in a long-awaited effort to carry a spacecraft into orbit and return it to Earth. The company called off an earlier 9:06 a.m. launch attempt and finally lifted off the Cape Canaveral launch pad minutes ago.

With launch of its Dragon capsule, SpaceX also hopes to launch a new era in U.S. spaceflight, to demonstrate that commercial companies can take on a role in orbit once reserved only for government agencies like NASA.

The Falcon 9 — the company’s gleaming-white, 157-foot-tall flagship – was programmed to send the Apollo-like capsule 186 miles into space, where it would orbit the Earth twice before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean to be recovered by waiting ships. It would become the first commercial spacecraft to orbit the planet and survive the fiery reentry back to Earth.

It’s nothing short of historic, according to SpaceX founder and chief executive officer, Elon Musk. “When Dragon returns, whether on this mission or a future one, it will herald the dawn of an incredibly exciting new era in space travel,” Musk said recently.

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