29 September 2008

First, You Have to Reach Orbit Successfully

Elon Musk's SpaceX has finally lofted a "homemade" Falcon 1 rocket to successful Earth orbit. This puts SpaceX on the fast track to space launch success--just at a time that NASA has abandoned space in favour of promoting "global warming catastrophe orthodoxy."
The Falcon 1 booster redeemed itself Sunday with an electrifying launch that put an exclamation point on six years of hard work and disappointment for SpaceX, a startup company chartered to revolutionize space travel. The 70-foot-tall rocket successfully delivered a 364-pound hunk of aluminum nicknamed "Ratsat" to orbit on the launcher's fourth flight, ending a streak of three consecutive Falcon 1 failures dating back to 2006.

"That was freakin' awesome," said Elon Musk, founder, CEO and chief technology officer of Space Technologies Corp.

Musk established SpaceX in 2002 and funded the company from the fortune he earned selling Zip2 and PayPal, his earlier startups.

...Musk estimates he has invested about $100 million of his own money into the development of the Falcon 1 rocket.

"SpaceX has designed and developed this vehicle from the ground up from a blank sheet of paper," said Max Vozoff, a mission manager with the company. "We've done all the design and testing in-house. We don't outsource." _SpaceflightNow
Space launch is incredibly expensive--largely due to the quasi-monopoly that government space agencies hold over the process. Governments are not known for meaningful innovation leading to lower costs. That is private enterprise's job. And Musk has done his job well.

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