Friday, June 04, 2010

Reaching for orbit

Things like this make me happy.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A multimillionaire's test rocket blasted off on its maiden voyage Friday and successfully reached orbit in a dry run for NASA's push to go commercial.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket achieved Earth orbit nine minutes into the flight as planned, drawing praise from NASA, the White House and others eager for the company to start resupplying the International Space Station.

"This has really been a fantastic day," said an exuberant Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder. He said Friday's launch helps vindicate President Barack Obama's plan to give private companies the job of ferrying cargo and ultimately people to the space station, freeing up NASA to aim for true outer space.

I'm not a big fan of Obama (and somehow I don't think he really thought through his approach to the space program), but I'm willing to give him credit where it is due. If his edicts produce a truly viable commercial approach to space, then more power to him and to us all.

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