The Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral. Image Source: Fox.
Last year, when the Space Shuttles made their final flights, the Americans marked the end of an era of publicly-funded space exploration (see my posts on this here, here, here and here). This month, SpaceX, under the leadership of Gen Xer Elon Musk, picks up the baton and carries that legacy forward.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled today to launch the first private mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida to the International Space Station. This historic, unmanned flight is delayed, likely until May 19.
A test crew, a mix of NASA and SpaceX personnel, recently evaluated SpaceX's Dragon crew capsule; for details, see the SpaceX Website. For a gallery on SpaceX's ISS mission and NASA contracts, go here.
Musk spent his entire private fortune on the earlier parts of this project, and saw it through some narrow spots. This launch is another of these moments. If it succeeds, the Americans will mark the beginning of a new era when private companies, rather than governments, challenge the 'final frontier.'
Artist’s rendition of the Dragon spacecraft docking at the International Space Station. Image Source: SpaceX.See all my posts on Space Exploration.