A first-of-its-kind commercial supply ship rocketed toward the International Space Station following a successful liftoff early Tuesday, opening a new era of dollar-driven spaceflight.
The SpaceX company made history as its Falcon 9 rocket rose from its seaside launch pad and pierced the pre-dawn sky, aiming for a rendezvous in a few days with the space station. The unmanned rocket carried into orbit a capsule named Dragon that is packed with 1,000 pounds of space station provisions.
It is the first time a private company has launched a vessel to the space station. Before, that was something only major governments had done.
“Falcon flew perfectly!!” SpaceX’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk, said via Twitter. “Dragon in orbit … Feels like a giant weight just came off my back.”