May 22nd, 2012
09:35 AM ET

Historic launch of private rocket heralds new era

A new era in space exploration dawned Tuesday as a slender rocket powered into the dark Florida sky before sunrise, carrying the first private spacecraft bound for the International Space Station.

Track Dragon in orbit

"We're now back on the brink of a new future, a future that embraces the innovation the private sector brings to the table," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "The significance of this day cannot be overstated."

The unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 3:44 a.m., carrying 1,300 pounds of food, clothing and scientific experiments on a demonstration mission to gauge the company's ability to safely and efficiently deliver supplies to astronauts staffing the orbiting station.

If successful, the test could open the door to a wave of commercial exploitation of space.

Tuesday's launch marks the culmination of six years of preparation to bring commercial flights to the space station following the retirement of NASA's space shuttle fleet last year. It's backed by entrepreneur Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal.

Stellar week for SpaceX founder Elon Musk

"Every bit of adrenaline in my body released at that moment," Musk said of the launch in a statement released by NASA. "People were really giving it their all. For us, it was like winning the Super Bowl."

The rocket launched without a hitch following a flawless countdown that came three days after a faulty valve on one of the rocket's engines forced a last-second postponement.

At 180 feet tall and 12 feet around, the Falcon 9 rocket is tiny in comparison to the football-field long Saturn V rockets that carried Apollo spacecraft into orbit. It carries the company's Dragon cargo capsule capable of carrying 13,228 pounds of supplies into orbit, the company said.

The capsule is scheduled to perform a series of maneuvers that should bring it within reach of the space station's robotic arm on Friday. If NASA gives the go-ahead, the crew will use the arm to attach the capsule to the station and begin unloading supplies, according to SpaceX.

It will remain attached to the station for two weeks. It will then plummet back into the atmosphere and splash into the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, according to SpaceX.

Read more about the launch on CNN's Light Years blog

The cargo manifest for the trip includes 674 pounds of food, clothing and miscellaneous supplies, 46 pounds of supplies for use in science experiments, 271 pounds of cargo bags for use in future flights and 22 pounds of computer equipment.

It will return with science experiments, hardware and used gear.

The launch is an important step for NASA and the United States, which currently has no means of independently reaching space. NASA relies on the Russian space agency to ferry U.S. astronauts to orbit.

"What's really important is not control, as much as it is the fact that the United States will once again be in the lead, will be providing our own vehicles to take our own astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station," Bolden said. "It's fine to rely on partners, but that's not where the greatest nation in the world wants to be."

White House science adviser John P. Holdren also hailed the launch.

"Every launch into space is a thrilling event, but this one is especially exciting because it represents the potential of a new era in American spaceflight," he said. "Partnering with U.S. companies such as SpaceX to provide cargo and eventually crew service to the International Space Station is a cornerstone of the President's plan for maintaining America's leadership in space."

The first attempt to launch the rocket was halted Saturday when a flight computer detected high pressure in an engine combustion chamber. Workers replaced the valve on Saturday, SpaceX said.

The company plans 11 more flights to the space station.

One of a handful of private companies receiving funds from NASA to develop a space taxi system, SpaceX hopes the experience with the cargo flights will help the company reach its goal of carrying astronauts aboard the Dragon.

The company is developing a heavy-lift rocket with twice the cargo capability of the space shuttle, and also dreams of builidng a spacecraft that could carry a crew to Mars.

CNN's John Zarrella contributed to this report.

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Filed under: In Space • News
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. TheMan

    Is there anything the government can do besides kill people? They seem like they are so obsolete. One day the private sector will solve all our needs.

    May 22, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • guest

      to include killing people (jk)

      Sorry after you said that I got that captialist corperations consparicy theory running through my head. Sort of like Perfect Dark or Deus Ex Human Revolution where international corperations had their own "security force"

      May 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  2. Scamtannehill

    What a tragedy we spend so much on military killing machines and so little on the future of the human race.

    May 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  3. Jay G

    It's sad how few people appreciate this event and space exploration/expansion in general. We must keep striving to go beyond the boundaries we know. Space exploration has developed numerous new technologies and spurred growth in other areas (computers). Without satellites, many of us wouldn't be enjoying cell phones, GPS, etc. Space MUST continue to be an area that the nation dedicates itself to both in manpower, dedication and funding. It's likely to be necessary for the survival of the human race at some point.

    May 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  4. asdf

    Gratz to SpaceX but if we think private companies are going to do anything without public money but exploit resources in space like they do on Earth we are dreaming. Still I guess I would rather see Nasa privatized than the prisons.

    May 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • asdf

      Groan oh yeah forgot about low orbit advertising Lord help us.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  5. T in Austin

    Fantastic! All the luck in the world to you Elon! Go Tesla too!

    May 22, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  6. Redeye Dog

    More like, "A new era of espionage and counter-intelligence is born!" It won't be long, if not already, that the lowest bidder will lower security standards for satisfying the billionaire entrepreneurship and our secrets will be launching from Chinese platforms.

    May 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  7. Scottro

    Due to the rocket's small size, advertising space will be at a premium. I wonder what the rates will be, who will have the first ad, and whether tobacco and alcohol advertisements will be banned?

    May 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  8. nasa1

    Newt's moon colonies???

    May 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • nasa1


      May 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
      • guest

        I'll get in the stock market for that.

        May 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • nasa1

      Look at the job openings at the spaceX website!!

      May 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  9. mobetta

    THIS little pop rocket puts us back in the lead???!?!?!?!!!!! Now if this had been an Orion launch to the moon, maybe so... and maybe the Chinese are already there.

    May 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • BThorn

      Falcon 9 is between Delta II and Atlas 5 in size and performance. It isn't small.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  10. acajunthatsagun

    Now we'll have the opportunity to see how well and a what cost the private sectors performs in this space(no pun intended).

    May 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  11. thermion7

    I think this is great! Nice work SpaceX

    May 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  12. RW

    I can't wait for the official GOP sponsored "Bible Based" rocket ship.......

    May 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Rog

      ...and I was waiting for the first irrelevant and politically-biased remark...thanks to you for not disappointing, stupid lefty.

      May 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  13. bezerkur

    There has to be progress in space exploration. We're at 7 billion people and eventually in the distant future this planet will no longer be able to sustain us. There will be failures yet to come, however unless we adopt a "Logans Run" policy our species will be in for some serious problems unless we continue to advance in space exploration. Id much rather "throw my money down the toilet" on this then fight some useless war.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  14. Shane

    Looks like Ridley Scott got the name wrong, guess it should have been Musk Corporations instead of Weyland Corporations...

    May 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • George

      I'm glad someone else sees the parallel here

      May 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • notsofastsunshyne

      You sent them out there and you didn't even warn them. Why didn't you warn them, Burke?!?

      May 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
      • Hudson

        Okay, look. What if that ship didn't even exist, huh? Did you ever think about that? I didn't know! So now, if I went in and made a major security issue out of it, everybody steps in. Administration steps in, and there are no exclusive rights for anybody; nobody wins. So I made a decision and it was... wrong. It was a bad call, Ripley, it was a bad call.

        May 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  15. WhaChuLooknAt

    why would want to build anything in Brownsville?

    May 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • asdf

      cheap unskilled labor? You know the Walmart crowd.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  16. Professor

    Looks like some of the Occupy Wall Street people stumbled out of bed in their parents basement in order to comment. Wah Wah! Wah! Private companies are all about profit and are evil. Government programs are the only good in the world or off it. Now space is only going to be for the EEEEvil rich. Jeez, get a grip people.

    This is a FANTASTIC accomplishment. If Elon pulls this off (reusable, reliable launch vehicles) then space travel will become like aviation. I seem to recall the Communists complained about airplanes also and how only the bourgeois will get to fly.

    Private companies will have hotels in orbit and colonies on the moon and mars in a very short time. Just think, in 40 years when NASA's Orion finally makes it to Mars they can visit the largest Martian city of "Elon" after registering in the colonial capital of Zhengmao of course.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      I think we are a little early to make that prediction. Yes SpaceX can lift stuff up a lot cheaper than NASA, but not necessarily cheap enough to make hotels in orbit economical.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
      • Big-J

        Sure, the Wright Flyer can lift a person in the air, but flying faster than the spped ofsound in 44 years; or putting people on the moon in 66 years is UNIMAGINABLE!! With options, comes opportunities!! Who knows what is possible!!

        May 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
      • Gregor

        Wellll, maybe Mr. Bigelow is not advertising on price-line yet, but give him a chance. Bigelow Aerospace already launched Genesis I and II, and while they are basically inflatable tents in space, and used a converted Russian ICBM to do it, it is also an accomplishment. Just don't expect room-service in one of those places yet. Just imagine what Bigelow could do with a heavier-lift launch vehicle like the Falcon 9, or the anticipated future SpaceX heavy-lift vehicle. Cheers – g

        May 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  17. bezerkur

    And if we keep that same belief as you do then there will be no progress. As the nay-sayers believed the sound barrier couldnt be broken or that CERN would create a black hole and destroy this planet.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • notsofastsunshyne

      CERN WOULD have created a black hole that destroyed the planet, but the future keeps coming back in time to disrupt the experiment. 😉 Remember this story? I found it at NewScience: "The hypothesized Higgs boson... might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather"

      May 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  18. tal180

    Folks this is not free enterprise – NASA (gov't) has given this co. 300 million and soon a Billion. This still on the tax payer

    May 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Trentmadcat

      well they are paying them a contract to run cargo to the iss that where must of thr money goes to spaceX has used must of it own money for R&D

      May 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • TD

      You are right that NASA has given them money. It is actually nearly $400M not 300 and the Commercial Resupply Services contract is for $1.6B for 12 flights. Considering that the SLS/Orion program is budgeted for $2.8B for this year alone and many years to come before it ever launches, plus the billions spent on the canceled Constellation project (I think $8B), I would call $2B for all development plus 12 operational flights a steal. From the point of view of the taxpayer, we win.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Veritas

      Hey Tal, by alternating a toke of Panama Red for each paragraph completed with your OWS buddies, you missed the part of the article where it reads NASA's only other option is to pay the Russians. Personally, I'd rather the money go to an American company than a foreign government.

      But hey, I'm sure you OWSers consider Putin & Co. raaad maaaaaan! So what do I know

      May 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
      • notsofastsunshyne

        I know you won't believe it, Veritas, because your Puppet Masters have trained you better than Pavlov's dog, but there are democrats that, you know, DON'T hate America, and actually don't want the money going to the "Democratic" Mafia of Russia. Tal does't speak for dems, and moreover probably isn't one. Complaining about taxes is usually a conservative calling card.

        May 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  19. butch

    cool. some private company just flushed billions of dollars down a toilet. that's a great story. Here's the reality. The first time a privately funded shuttle blows up and kills its crew there won't be the world's largest government behind it to say it's no biggie. Laws will be made to prevent private space flight from ever occurring again.

    But it doesn't matter anyway because there is nothing in space for us but pretty lights. There's no reason to send people to them. The ones we can reach are dead rocks we can't live on and everything else is a million lifetimes away at the fastest speed we could ever propel an object with people on it.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • MarshallM

      Such cynicism and backward thinking as yours would have kept us in the Dark Ages. You posted your negative comment on what? A personal computer of some sort? You can thank the space program for that. Go back into your dark cave and live out the rest of your pathetic life in ignorance.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
      • ChrisVC

        Well said MarshallM

        May 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • HannahBanana

      Yes, the space program is responsible for many of our great achievements in science. Ever known anyone who got an MRI or CT scan? Yeah, only thanks to the space program. Also, NASA only shut down its shuttle program because it was due to end in 2010 but was extended. It was designed in the 60s. NASA had plans for a similar capsule but thanks to our lovely president and unsuportive and unintelligent people, that was canceled.
      This is one of the great historic leaps in science and you should be grateful

      May 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • notsofastsunshyne

      Wait y'all Butch has a point. As soon as the first air travel tragedy occurred the government stepped in and outlawed all air travel.
      .... Oh wait. You know what? I am being told that... is that right? They didn't outlaw all air travel? Hmmm.

      May 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  20. Byrd

    Yes, a new era has begun. In the old one, we were all essentially participants because NASA did all of the work and the assigned task was science-based rather than profit-based. Now only the most wealthy will ever get into space and it will be exploited for ill-gotten gains just like everything else capitalism touches.just as capitalism. This is a huge step backwards if you ask me.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Big-J

      The Internet was once science-based rather than profit-based. Now it is available for nearly everyone. All exploration is driven, in part, by the search for new resources (i.e. profit).

      May 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  21. ColumbiaQT

    Wow this is soo exciting... I'm sorry I missed it...

    May 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Fritz

      Yep, I missed it too. Found out about it on today. I'm still glad I gave up television though. Was wasting my life away.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  22. Walter

    I do hope that they build a launch site in Brownsville, TX

    May 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • BThorn

      There just seem to me to be too many drawbacks to the South Texas launch site. That's a lot of money being spent on new infrastructure for very little benefit. They are limited to a certain few launch azimuths that don't pass over populated land during powered flight, and even some of those azimuths are going to run into conflicts with offshore oil rigs. All for a percentage or two increased performance compared to Cape Canaveral, or in the hope that everybody else will drop out of the commercial satellite game and leave it all to SpaceX? It just doesn't add up to me. I really think SpaceX will quietly drop its plans there, probably after they've gotten a few more tax breaks from Florida.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  23. Spectator

    No sanctions for ballistic missile (rocket) launches? I thought only US government was exempt from this ban? I wonder if the treaty has been modified, and how legal is it since it is commercial.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Bobby

      "What's really important is not control, as much as it is the fact that the United States will once again be in the lead"
      How can we "lead" if we fall far behind Russia with NO SPACE PROGRAMS capable to do the same as the Russians do? Will you seat on top of that rocket to go to the space station? This is a joke, not a statement.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • Cape Don

        Bobby, what are you talking about? Our space programs far outshine any other nation. Our launch pads are booked for years in advance, we're about to land yet ANOTHER rover (Curiosity) on Mars in a few months, it's about the size of an SUV. We have other probes all over the place, and no we have them leaving the solar system. We've got the Hubble still plugging along and we're developing the James Watt space telescope. You don't have any idea of what our space programs are like if you write comments like that. Did you know about our heavy lift rocket program or the Orion capsule? Or like a child, are you going to stomp your feet if you don't get everything you want RIGHT NOW!

        May 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
      • scottro

        It's the James WEBB space telescope. The James Watt telescope would have been steam-powered.

        May 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  24. Scottro

    Great. Now my PayPal fees are going to go up again.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Sara

      Elon is no longer with PayPal, sold off his half of the company.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • lefty avenger

      Paypal fees will go up to pay for this but on the positive side if we can Terraform Mars you can get paypaled on the red planet.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Anomic Office Drone

      PayPal would raise your fees if this was an ox puling a cart.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  25. Johnny 5

    Mepps!! mepps!!

    – Beldar Conehead

    May 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  26. itoldyouso10

    Congratulations to SpaceX and Mr. Elon Musk! The play-offs have started, but the Superbowl will be when the first astronauts go up on the Dragon capsule. We're now in a new era Earth!

    May 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  27. Johan

    It ain't exactly the 2001 Space Plane, and it is years late, and the space station isn't as cool with hotels, but it's a start.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      Perhaps so, but even Arthur C. Clark admitted in retrospect that 2001 was overly ambitious in its projection of the world's exploitation of space.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
      • hecep

        I can think of one or two spaces I could exploit right about now.

        May 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  28. Paul

    Coolness! Now NASA can go back to exploring space.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Big-J

      Perhaps NASA can go back to doing the supporting R&D it was established to do and leave the exploring to the free market!

      May 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  29. paul

    "The launch is an important step for NASA and the United States, which currently has no means of independently reaching space."

    This is an idotic statement! The USA has PLENTY of means to independently reach space! They are called Delta IV and Atlas V. Even the smallest of them can out-lift the Falcon 9.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Rod

      You should check you facts before you shoot your mouth off. The max load to orbit for both the Delta IV and Atlas are far lower than that of the Falcon Heavy, This in addition to the fact that the Falcon 9 / Falcon heavy are both far cheaper, and much further on the way to being man-rated. The ULA deliver very little for vast amounts of money. SpaceX are the polar opposite.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  30. Azrael

    Where's the IPO for this company........ they need to get crackin........ I'd invest in this..... pssshh who needs FB

    May 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Leeford

      Musk said he wants to go for an IPO in 2013 ...I am all in when it happens. well...all in as far as my throw away investment money is concerned.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • TheMovieFan

      I find this company more productive than Facebook.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  31. joe

    The average joe cant afford the resources we have on earth, let alone resources from space. Any space tourists rides will cost more than most make in half a lifetime. Having a hard time feeling the excitment being expressed by most posters here.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Leeford

      I think you are having a hard time feeling the excitment because you seem to think space exploration is a tourist ride. I believe Disney has that covered. What we are talking about here is exploration and commerical enterprise opening up to private industry where it can boom without being soley run by inefficient government programs

      May 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
      • neutraltenn

        Sorry slick but the inefficient government programs greased the wheels for this current achievement.

        May 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • ThaGerm

      Joe, I guess I missed the part where space-tourism was their goal, could you point it out for me?

      May 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Ben

      At the start, yes. But then again the average person couldn't afford cars or TVs when they first came out. The very wealthy pay for those things at exorbitant prices, which allows the creators and innovators the capital they need to make the devices cheaper over time till everyone can afford them.

      Yes, that's capitalism, and it works. It may take a while, especially if government inserts a huge roadblock as soon as something goes wrong, and something will go wrong at some point. Just as it did sometimes for NASA. At any rate, this is a huge step, and I don't think it should take an optimist to realize that.

      May 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  32. Chris K

    "Weyland-Yutani... you are cleared for take off!"

    May 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • The Loon

      first thing this made me think of

      May 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  33. weasel

    Compliments of Bush. Free Enterprise.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • neutraltenn

      Actually it is compliments of the only government agency to put a man on the moon.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  34. Hopeful Trekki

    I think this is great! The private industry has the capability of one day making space exploration, travel, and living a possibility for, hopefully, one day average people. NASA and the ESA should be focused on more deep space missions, scientific understanding and exploration, and leading the way to colonization where the private can follow behind every step and even provide supplementary support. Good luck to Space X!!!! This is true american innovation at work.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  35. Josh

    "271 pounds of (HEFTY ?) cargo bags for use in future flights"

    May 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  36. Truefax

    So when NASA and the Russians were doing it for decades it was boring, but now a company hoping to profit off of space it's all wooptiedooo.

    RIGHT, sheep.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      So a private company starting to go into space, rather than a country having to try to organize it, is not interesting to you?
      no, you arent a sheep, you are just a fool.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
      • paul

        So, boeing and Lockheed-Martin are not private companies?

        May 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
      • Cybermantis

        Boeing and Lockheed are private companies that have been HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED by the government for DECADES through no-fault contracts, tax breaks, and federal funding. Check the black-ops appropriations over the years. It's a staggering amount of resources going to these companies. Taxation WITH representation SUCKS too. Wake up people. America is a PLUTOCRACY. There is a hidden agenda.

        May 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Big-J

      So, perhaps we should give the Internet back to the DoD. I guess you think they could find better uses for it than the free market?!

      May 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  37. Woofie

    One question, 'is it transporting 1,300 or 13,228 pounds of cargo?'

    May 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Odyssey - Time Travel

      It's transporting 1,300 pounds of cargo on this first test mission. It is designed to carry a 13,228 pound cargo load when fully certified to make regular flights.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • BThorn

      1,300 lbs of non-critical cargo on this test flight.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  38. bill_bobby_robert

    Rich people in outer space. Hurrah. Now they have something cool to brag about. Yawn.. I mean yay. woo.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Dale

      At one time only rich people could afford cars, plane rides, books, TV's, radio's, telephones and many other things we all enjoy as mass consumers today.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Amit

      After reading the first arltcie my biggest thought is this surely the difference between shoppe and shop and phone and fone isn't arbitrary? That's how we spell it. I suppose technically you could say that spellnig is arbitrary but surely the composition of language is a bit more than arbitrary isn't it? I don't know.Becky (Page Turners)b4s last [type] ..

      September 12, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  39. NutGrinder

    Lame, unimpressive, lobbing more space trash into orbit to clutter up our atmosphere. Worthless waste of money and time. Show me 3 things that have made life better by having humans go into space... 1) memory foam, 2)..... 3) Profit.
    So sick of the "space" program. Its so useless.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • adam

      You forgot Tang!

      May 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • WOW


      That might be quite possibly the MOST IGNORANT COMMENT I have ever seen .and trust me.......I have seen many. REALLY? Space Exploration has no advantages? WOW!!!!!!!!!!

      Your comment is so ignorant, you must be a Republican!

      May 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • aj

      What an ignorant thing to say. What exactly do you do for a living? Bartend?

      May 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Odyssey - Time Travel

      One thing created by the focus on Space, and has made life better by having humans go into space is the use of the internet. This allows you to stay wack off on your keyboard in your mothers basement and not be seen in public. Dig a deeper hole under your mommies basement to make life for the rest of us safer.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Jinpei

      Your ignorance staggers the mind.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Ian

      The computer/smartphone you used to type that comment was a product of NASA engineering.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • RDMetalgeek

      Not much of a student of economic history are you? Do you realize that literally hundreds of thousands of dollars have been returned into the US (and world) economies for every tax dollar spent on the US space program in the last 60 years? Oh! and what is so bad about profit ...or memory foam for that matter?

      May 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • reasonably

      Not half as useless as someone with no imagination. You have completed level EPIC FAIL. Please don't breed.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Shane

      For those that dont know what the space prgram gives to your everyday lives just read this article by Lovell.

      Some people take for granted everyday items that came out of the challenges of space development

      May 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  40. Lee

    Now the private space industry needs to hire all the engineers and scientists that worked for NASA and they would already have decades of experience to build upon. The private industry doesn't have to start from the beginning and with the wealth in the private sector, the next era of the space industry is looking rather good.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • FauxNewz

      They are funded by NASA, and use government launch facilities to deliver payloads to government missions. How is this remotely private? This is pure spin.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • Jinpei

        They were HIRED. Not Contracted. Big difference.
        On top of their launch fee (which is only a fraction of what Russia charges) the Govt. gave them a few million dollars to develop Falcon and Dragon. NASA spent more than 7 *Billion* doing the same thing for the Constellation vehicles, and they never flew.
        THATS what the excitement is about.

        May 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Sue

      A lot of people employed by SpaceX are former NASA employees.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
      • Etheras

        I'd venture there's very little NASA in SpaceX. You have to remember that NASA doesn't build rockets.. they plan missions and perform experiments. The their equipment including rockets & shuttles are designed and manufactured by large government contractors like Lockheed, Boeing, Douglas, Rockwell, Honeywell, Alliant etc. NASA doesn't actually *make* anything.

        May 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  41. duckmanbill

    The fact that NASA has no independent means to reach the ISS is a complete travesty, and we can thank Bush for that epic fail.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Jim

      It certainly is a travesty that NASA doesn't have its own capability to reach the space station. You can blame Bush if you wish, but you can also blame NASA itself, which chose to focus on other green missions. You should also note that Obama has done less than nothing to remedy the situation.

      In any case, hopefully viable commercial options can hopefully fill that void.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
      • Big-J

        You can blme NASA for assuming the mantle of "space explorers" in the first place. The agency was establised in the framework of the NACA, to perform short-term R&D programs to help advance the space INDUSTRY as the NACA had done for the aviation industry. This resulted in two issues; 1)The long-term operational cost of the Shuttle and Space Station prevented the agency from investing in any next-generation vehicles; and 2) Stifled the commercial development of the US space industry.

        Imagine how the Internet would look today if it was run by the Government.

        May 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • paul

      NASA NEVER had independent methods. ALL of their rockets were built and operated by contractors.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Jinpei

      Bush canceled Shuttle. Obama cancelled Constellation.
      Truth is, the replacement for the shuttle should have been completed during G.H.W. Bush and Clinton's presidencies.

      Theres plenty of blame to go around, no matter what your team affiliation.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Jay G

      Ugh. So much fail in that post. I wish people uneducated on a subject would just avoid commenting. Better to be thought a fool than to type out a post and confirm it.

      May 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  42. Not a Scholar

    I live about 50 miles south of KSC. I actually got up and wen outside to get a view. Not the prettiest launch I have ever seen. It was not bright. More orange. And it looked like it was moving very slow. Not the power and speed of the Delta or Atlas rockets. Almost wondered if it was going to fall out of the sky for lack of power. But hey, they did it and all is good!! Go SpaceX!!

    May 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Luke

      Maybe because it was built to be a more environmentally friendly rocket?

      May 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • John Smith

      What you were seeing was not a "lack of power." The rocket was not in danger falling out of the sky. Things can look that way based on your perspective and based on the rocket's trajectory. You perceive it as moving slow or at a strange angle. But this is perception, not reality. In reality, this rock is monsterously powerful and fast.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  43. Ted Ward

    "Twelve feet around" should probably read "twelve feet in diameter" otherwise it's a puny 4 foot wide rocket, not quite what Elon Musk would have wanted to launch...

    May 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • nasa1

      That'a why we have journalists and why we have engineers...

      May 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • John

      They say "12 feet around" so more people understand how big it is. If you just "12 ft diameter" there will be people who has no idea what a diameter is.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • RDMetalgeek

        And that is really sad. No need to wonder why our education system is so far behind when something as fundamental as the meaning of "diameter" is not understood.

        May 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • Ionic1

        12 ft around is not a good way to explain because it is 12 ft across. Please visit a 4th grade math book.

        May 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  44. nasa1

    Check out the Careers link on the SpaceX Website. Finally....employment for Engineers!!

    May 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • nasa1

      Go to for the Careers Listing at SpaceX!

      May 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  45. Keepyourbutterfingersoffmyreese's

    Please don't let BP in space

    May 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Jinpei

      Yes, we wouldn't want to upset the fragile ecosystem of VACUUM, now would we?


      May 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  46. Nick

    Its amusing how people are using this to prove government doesnt work. Because government totally didnt send us to the moon. Not to mention the fact that all these private space programs are being funded by the government! I'm perfectly fine with private industries going to space but they need to be tamed and regulated. The job of a private corporation is to increase profits, it is only natural that they be regulated to prevent them from going too far to make a profit. Its been proven over and over. Now bring on the asteroid mining so we can stop destroying this planet.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • copanut

      Right. This is a validation of government involvement. Without the public sector there would be no space station "customer" for the private sector to service. Government excels at sponsoring the hard, forward-thinking stuff that is not profitable. The private sector excels at exploiting ground that has already been trodden and proven, to make it more efficient and profitable. Christopher Columbus and other early explorers were funded by governments. Once the paths and hazards were known, private companies took over the shipping lanes. This is no different. It will take decades to reach the next milestone in space, and private companies do not work on that scale.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  47. steve

    The world most expensive Pizza Delivery.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Odyssey - Time Travel

      But hey, it gets the Pizza there in under 3 minutes. Ten times faster than Dominoes 30 minutes.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  48. USAF Capt

    I visited Space X facilities in Hawthorn, CA last Dec. Was amazed at what they are doing. They have some grey beards, but a lot of young engineers. They are developing this program smartly, and at a much lower cost than what the current Gov't pays. Congrats to all those involved!

    May 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  49. Seriously

    ... and now begins the big corporate space grab. One step back for man, and one giant leap for the board of directors and shareholders. I can't believe that we're selling out like this. If you think SpaceX has any scientific, national, or international interests in mind, you're kidding yourselves. We can only pray that they don't sell this technology to rogue states that really want to build an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Leeford

      I disagree with your viewpoint. I think the world will benefit more from private industry space exploration than leaving up to government run beauracracies.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • iroshi

      I totally disagree. If the government hasn't the guts to to do it, let those who do get us back into space in a real way.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
      • Sehzade

        But we're talking about sillks that most people don't possess anymore.Whether you might possess those sillks or not is pretty much irrelevant (hopefully you understand that you are the rare exception). There will always (at least for the foreseeable future) going to be sillks that people no longer possess that were once vital. Basic car care knowledge is simply no longer a necessary because the market allows us to get by without those sillks (just like the market allows to not know how to bake bread (thank you mass production), how to store food (thank you refrigerators and preservatives), how to develop film (thank you photo shops, photo printers, and digital picture frames), how to build a shelter (thank you home-builders), how to brew beer or make whiskey from corn (thank you safe drinking water), and so on). Having a market economy allows for the division of labor to the point that there is little that we need to actually know how to do anymore (some day we might even not have to know how to wipe our own behinds because we'll have robots or artificial life forms that do the job for us).Especially, when you live in the middle of nowhere and it could be several hours-depending on weather- before anyone, including EMS, fire or police, shows up let alone anyone that can actually help.Some day the overwhelmingly vast majority of all people are going to live in cities and suburbs. In the mean time, people need only to have enough supplies to tide them over until help – which they can reach by Onstar or, if they don't have it, cell phone (what non-hermit below 70 doesn't have a cell phone these days?).The disservice done to that young man isn't the lack of car knowledge it's simply the lack of self-reliance that you and I have been taught/or learned. (I should have made that clearer in my initial post)Self-reliance isn't a necessity anymore in today's society. That's my point. One of the most basic concepts in economics is that division of labor is limited by the extent of the market. As the market expands, so, too, can (and usually does) the division of labor. Heck, parents not only don't need to know how to provide basic necessities for their children, they don't even have to be there to provide those basic necessities (they can farm out those duties to nannies, daycare workers, and teachers).Which actually goes to the heart of Helen's post here. I learned those things through a lot of male only gatherings.I think it is yet to be seen whether or not the kind of male bonding that occurred in the past is necessarily a good thing or not. One of the downsides to the kind of almost-forced male bonding that took place in what now seems like the distant past is that many sons and daughters were pigeon-holed by their parents. Boys who weren't interested in doing "manly" things (and girls who weren't interested in doing "girly" things) were not only not encouraged to develop their own interests and follow their own dreams, they were also, in many (if not most) cases, actively discouraged or even prevented from doing what they wanted to do (sometimes through humiliation and sometimes through physical force). One of the remarkable things about living in today's society is that there is more freedom to be who you want to be than ever before. It's no longer nearly as taboo as it once was to not fit into rigid gender-based stereotypes. Many people are failing to see the forest through the trees. We're living in one of the greatest times in human history (thus far). The old ways (part of which was the need for self-reliance and gender roles) are being discarded for something newer. And again, this may or may not be a good thing, but only time will tell.

        September 12, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  50. carlyjanewg

    May 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Rombolio

      Theology? Is this in case we meet a "god" on our space journeys? Thanks!

      May 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  51. RF Burns

    Is a giant Pepsi logo on the moon visible from Earth far behind?

    May 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • HenkV

      With an Michael Jackson figure doing a moonwalk? Go for it!

      May 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  52. Grampa1

    When they start mining the asteroid belt, I'll want to buy some of their stock.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  53. Bob R

    This is one of the most important developments in the history of space flight. Its significance cannot be overstated.

    We now have a private company capable of something only a few nations can do. And it's American.

    Well done!

    May 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Odyssey - Time Travel

      The 21st century 'Mercury', 'Gemini', and 'Apollo' era of spaceflight.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • paul

      Have you never heard of Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, etc? These are all private companies that build and launch rockets. The Delta series were all built under commercial contracts. This is nothing new.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
      • Bob R

        You should go brush up on your space history. Leave the discussion to the grown-ups.

        May 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  54. Sue

    They really did it! The beginning of a new space era. Go Elon Musk, SpaceX, & its engineers. This is an actual American dream 🙂

    May 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Tanner

      Amen! And the more successful Elon Musk gets, the sooner I can get a Tesla Model S!

      May 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  55. Odyssey - Time Travel

    1903 ~ The Wright Flier
    2012 ~ The SpaceX Dragon Spaceship

    May 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  56. Martian

    The dream of landing on Mars is now closer to a reality then the distant dream it had become.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Earthling

      Yes, closer by about a centimeter. There's still the issue of how to keep humans healthy for the duration of a Mars flight, landing, and eventual return to Earth. This has not yet been solved. Keep sending robots. They're more durable and if we lose one we just build another. Cheaper than sending humans, too. Build me a warp drive, then we'll talk about sending humans to Mars.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • daftshadow

      I see space mining a more plausible reality than humans landing on Mars. Not to mention it will be more beneficial to us.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Sara

      Elon Musk never gives up. He's a tenacious entrepreneur. If anyone takes us to Mars, think this is the man & SpaceX will do

      May 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
      • Tanner

        Agreed, Sara. Privatization of space exploration will will cause much more rapid progress. Elon Musk is very tenacious. I felt his pain in "Revenge of the Electric Car".

        May 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  57. Johnna

    Super fantastic, only in America could this happen first. Way to go SpaceX. I hope the rocket has a 'Made in USA' sticker on it !

    May 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • James Jing Bao

      The only reason for most if not all american firsts is $$$ not because there's something special about americans. A lot of these firsts were also worked on by people from other origins that america picked up just for that purpose. chinese, german, etc...

      May 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
      • Paul

        Sorry to disagree, but Greece or even France could not have done this. There is something special about Americans.

        May 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • paul

      Just continue to believe the MSM twisted "truth". There are several private companies launching rockets for decades. Only in China and Russia are there segnificant government rocket programs. Arianne Space is a private company in Europe. Boeing and Lockheed-Martin are private companies. Space-X has been spending government money all along.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      It does look however that the first company to actually offer trips to space for the paying public is going to be Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  58. Ross

    If you ain't 1st your last! – Ricky Bobby

    May 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Hmph

      I never liked the word "heralds". What is that? All of the adjectives at your fingertips for all of the world to read and you have to use the word "heralds".

      May 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • pzanga

        Well, first off "heralds" is a verb, not an adjective.

        May 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  59. SamSkwirl

    Great Work SpaceX! Now I know those fees I pay on paypal are going to a good cause.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  60. Oxy Moron Smart Lib

    This is great and it could never have happened without Obama's help!!

    May 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • SkiDooSki

      This was already happening before Obama changed everything

      May 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
      • Joel

        No it wasn't. It was this administration that cancelled all of the moon to mars waste and banked on private space. I follow this closely. Yes, SpaceX existed before Obama, but the Dragon mission with COTS was under the Obama admin, as is the work with Sierra Nevada/SpaceDev and the Dream Chaser and many other private space endeavors that required a move by the Whitehouse to get their funding. They need to increase funding even more. SpaceX got this done with pennies on the dollar of what Lockheed and all the other huge gov't contractors and with a new design, unlike the dated Space Shuttle. This is the first new design in a quarter of a century.

        May 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • BThorn


        You should have followed a little more closely. Commercial CARGO, like this flight, was President Bush's plan. President Obama introduced Commercial CREW.

        May 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
      • Jinpei

        Joel, actually, The government only gave a few paltry million to SpaceX. The majority of the vast cost of developing the Falcon launch system and Dragon capsule was payed for out of SpaceX's own pocket.

        May 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • HenkV

      'Obama' and 'Help' put together in a sentence matches your name. I like it.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • paul

      You can eiminate the "oxy" part of your name!. Virtually every Obama budget has proposed cuts to NASA programs. The only reason there is any money for the cargo missions is that allmost all others have been cut or eliminated.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Paul

      Unless of course you disagree with this, then it would be Bush's fault.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  61. Chris


    May 22, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  62. AL

    Congrats Space X! This is huge. We are about to see another example of how much more effective the private sector can be compared to government agencies when it comes to innovation, progress, productivity, fiscal responsibility, etc., etc.. We are back in space!

    May 22, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Joe Providence

      It is still being paid for by tax money from NASA. Let’s see what happens when they have to start charging private companies who don't have endlessly deep pockets to pay fees – suddenly those cheap Indonesian rockets look mighty tempting.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
      • Jinpei

        Yes, at about a third of the cost the Russians are charging.
        But if you'd like to pay more, feel free to bash them.

        May 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • SkiDooSki

      It's nice to see they figured out how to get the paint and cork to stick.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  63. Name*eric sheppard

    Will nasa still censor the communications and pictures to keep the existence of ufo activity a"secret" or will the private companies have more freedom to spread the truth?

    May 22, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • joe the plumber

      As long as you keep that tinfoil hat on never.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  64. Tlo

    Anybody else find it amusing that private American ventures can put a rocket in space when North Korea can't?

    May 22, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Robert

      It's hard with the US breathing down its back

      May 22, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • paul

      Private American ventures with a couple $billion in NASA fuds and access to all previous spaceflight data. NONE of them are reinventing the wheel.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  65. Cool Cook

    Awesome job, Space X.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  66. chan

    Oh, the things we are about to do.... This goes hand in hand with their intent to start officially farming resources outside earth. This is just as important the the US and World as was the Railroad. (Which was laughed at...)
    You want to get out of Trillions of debt, stop invading others territory, and never have to depend on resources outside our territory...This is it! The private industry has stepped up and will take the initial cost and leap...Their return in the long run will be unimaginable... Hell im sure one day it will lead to some kind of NEW wars...but it will actually stop Wars in a way.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • MnTaxpayer

      Live long and prosper.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Ted Ward

      Yes, we could box up the trillions of national debt in a secure unopenable container with "Extreme Financial Hazard" emblazoned on it in stark bold international orange sans serif letters with a skull and bones logo, then send it to the moon, Alice!

      May 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  67. Moogly

    lookee there...
    private industry will far surpass governmental industry once again.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Pepinium

      Moogly, if you look at history you will see that before private industry took the leap into areas such as nuclear power and space flight, millions of dollars were spent by the government to prove the viability of these technologies. Bottom lines are no good when it comes to Research and Development, particularly in the era of the 3-year return on investment which is what stock holders demand. I don't see anywhere an effort by private industry to develop fusion power. Once again, they are waiting for the governments of the world to do all the investment in R&D and prove that it can be done before they will invest a penny. I am sure that you have constructed your own reality to ignore these facts so this is just for the benefit of other people who might be contaminated by the i g n o r a n c e in your post, :).

      May 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • jpzipp

      Using Federal dollars.

      "One of a handful of private companies receiving funds from NASA to develop a space taxi system, SpaceX hopes the experience with the cargo flights will help the company reach its goal of carrying astronauts aboard the Dragon."

      May 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Sue

      NASA is the biggest backer of SpaceX. SpaceX has repeatedly gave credit to NASA for their successful launch & company.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  68. DaveDowd

    I think the stopped launch was more impressive. They have designed a ship capable of detecting problems and safely stopping the launch with even 1 second to go. That goes a long way to showing they are ready for crewed launches.

    Good Luck! Well Done!

    May 22, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • BThorn

      Shuttle did that in 1984.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:41 am |
      • Jeffrey Root

        The Shuttle was also destroyed twice with all of its crew members.

        May 22, 2012 at 11:57 am |
      • Ted Ward

        Sadly and worst of all the problem was staring at them straight in their faces on both occasions and the then Nasa organization did nothing about it except say, "well...ho-hum...let's just launch anyway, congress won't give us any money to fix it and the crowds and tv guys are expecting a launch and...and..."

        May 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  69. Adam

    This is huge! I wonder if people realize what a massive step this is for our country. Not only do we have a space program, we have private entrepreneurs in space. This is a day for the history books. Congratulations to everybody at SpaceX!

    May 22, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • SkiDooSki

      We had a Space program...this is a good step back in the right direction

      May 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  70. James T. Kirk

    I'm surprised they didn't mention that the remains (ashes) of James Doohan, Star Trek's "Scotty" was aboard, to be ejected into space and orbit the Earth in an eternal, space-like memorial.

    Godspeed Scotty! You have been beamed up!

    May 22, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  71. australopithecus

    We're now back on the brink of a new future, a future that embraces the innovation the private sector brings to the table," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "The significance of this day cannot be overstated." What a ridiculous statement, we go from manned-flight to unmanned in a period of one year! That's real progress? This man should step down.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Jeffrey Root

      Um...With the Constellation program we would not have had a replacement for the Space Shuttle until 2017. Would you call that progress then? SpaceX has tested their vehicle and it works. They are already installing seats and life support systems to fly humans in the next 2-3 years. I would say Bolden was right. Instead of one vehicle we will now have many to choose from. This should be the last gap in human space flight for the United States.

      May 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
      • SkiDooSki

        5 segment Aries I test flight was about three years ago!

        May 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Squeezebox

      The nice thing about privatization of space is that you no longer have Congress shooting down replacements for the Space Shuttle. Companies build, test, and rent out their own and the heck with Congress!

      May 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  72. Starbelly

    Well, it isn't rocket science. Wait, I meant brain surgery... Rocket surgery?

    May 22, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  73. wookie

    Launching a rocket isn't like dusting crops boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?"

    May 22, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • WIlly

      You tell em Solo!

      May 22, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • AL

      Into the garbage chute, Flyboy!!

      May 22, 2012 at 11:55 am |
      • Friska

        I think it's worse when people are inieoscstnnt about spaces. We get a lot of submitted stories and press releases at work where there will be one, two, or even three spaces between sentences, but it's always a mishmash! I cannot figure out how that happens, but it is soooo annoying. I learned to type with two, but switched to one after a graphic designer I know explained that new fonts automatically adjust spacing after a period, so we don't need to do that. I'm not sure if that's totally right, but I believed her.Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)b4s last [type] ..

        September 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Pepinium

      Mr Wookie, the only problem with your suggestions is that, even the nearest star (not including the Sun , of course) is almost 5 light years away (the sun is only 8 light-minutes away), so, the chances of "flying through a star"or "bouncing too close to a supernova" are about the same that the chances you passed your Astronomy class in middle school, :))))))

      May 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
      • AL

        Ummm.. you did see Star Wars.... right?


        May 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
      • CobiaKiller

        haha! very very true Pepinium!!!

        May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • Pepinium Fails

        Pepinium may have passed middle school astronomy... but Pepinium fails elementary school pop culture.

        May 22, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Badly-Bent

      Pi in the sky thinking!

      May 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  74. CNNuthin

    "When deep space exploration ramps up, it'll be the corporations that name everything, the IBM Stellar Sphere, the Microsoft Galaxy, Planet Starbucks." Looks like Paypal won that prediction.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • AL

      I have no problem with that. This will end up saving us tax payers billions. If a corporation wants to foot the bill for a space mission, good for them.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:42 am |
      • Tony

        Haha....yeah because they're not going to raise prices on their products or services to cover the cost. The price we pay for products increases and so does the amount of sales taxes we pay. Government makes more money and so do the corporations.

        May 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • dewed

      Or, you know, the name of this continent, "America" (private individual who did the mapping)

      May 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • Tony

        Wait, America is a continent?

        May 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  75. Dupperbob

    Great! They discovered the right mentos to coke mixture! Now all of space is ours!!!!

    May 22, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  76. Jack Skellington

    Go U.S. !

    May 22, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  77. TheMovieFan

    Congratulations to these guys. I wish them luck with the dock up.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:09 am |


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