SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Test Flight

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket had a successful test flight from a launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida on Friday, June 4, 2010.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched at about 2:45 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the Hawthorne. It was scheduled to reach orbit about 155 miles (250 kilometers) above Earth about 10 minutes after takeoff.

“All in all, this has been a good day for SpaceX,” launch commentator Robyn Ringuette announced from the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.

Falcon 9 carried a mock-up of the company’s spacecraft, named Dragon. The goal was to put the capsule into orbit. The first attempt to launch the rocket was aborted seconds before ignition because an engine parameter fell out of limits.

SpaceX, also known as Space Exploration Technologies, is hoping commercial companies such as theirs can take over transportation to the international space station.

“It’s time for NASA to hand that over to commercial industry who can then optimize the technology and make it more reliable, make it much lower cost and make it much more routine,” CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, said last month.

“If the country executes and the administration and Congress execute in that direction, the impact of these changes will be on par, perhaps even greater, than … the task that Kennedy put us on to,” he said.

“We really want to open up space for humanity and make it accessible to a huge number of people,” Musk said Thursday. “That’s our long-term goal, sort of democratizing space. If we’re successful in the long term, space will become routine.”

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