Falcon 9, Flight 1

By Sean Carroll | June 4, 2010 2:13 pm

SpaceX, a private company that is developing the capability to launch both manned and unmanned missions into space, today successfully launched their Falcon 9 launch vehicle into orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida. This is the rocket that is designed to eventually deliver Dragon spacecraft to low Earth orbit, including to the International Space Station. It was quite a thrill to watch the launch live on webcam — there was one little glitch that delayed the flight at the very moment of planned launch, but they quickly recovered and made a successful attempt within today’s launch window. Congratulations to SpaceX!

Video via Steinn.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space, Technology
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  • http://illusraetion.blogspot.com/ Rae

    Good to know life will go on in space after the Space Shuttle missions wrap up. It seems the last year has been so full of uncertainty. And gotta love that faint voice of the pople watching the launch, “thats f-ing awesome”. Pretty much what I said when I saw my first launch live, streaming live on NASA TV but still live.

  • Clifford

    I see what you mean about the near scrub. That fly monster (Mothra perhaps?) nearly took out the entire launch system at T-0:03. Was there a giant newspaper roll on hand?

  • Charles Evo

    Excellent. Although it sounds like Mission Control is in someone’s house, with the TV blaring, the kids yelling and the dishes being washed.

    But hey, didn’t Microsoft get its start in a garage?

  • Low Math, Meekly Interacting

    I’m very excited about this myself. I’ve nothing against human spaceflight, but the cumulative impact of corrosively unrealistic political pressures, specious claims about scientific value, and NASA’s chronic inability to manage risks and expenditures during the tortured arc of the STS program have destroyed any credible claim of public need. Clearly the last entity that should be in charge of putting people in space is the U.S. government. I’m curious to see what the private sector can do with it all once (hopefully) this new phase of public fostering is complete.

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  • http://www.goodbadandbogus.com Michael

    You might be interested that in Australia, some strange lights emitted by one of the stages of this rocket caused many news outlets to report on “UFO sightings”.


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  • Harold

    Sean, I don’t know if you ever read these comments, and pardon me that this doesn’t apply to the current post, but I had to find a way to ask someone these questions who has given considerable time to the study of time (wow that reads funny). So I keep coming back to the same basic question; if we are in the system that is bound to the arrow of time how could we attempt to measure or make any observations about it? It seems impossible. It is like a record being played with a string quartet. If someone grabs the record and spins it backwards or even stops it, the violinist doesn’t suddenly exclaim that the music is playing backwards or has stopped. My point is that we could be stopped right now and would never be able to measure it since we are member of the system bound to the arrow of time we exist with. I read the wired magazine interview you gave and it just struck me that even if there were a “multiverse” it would be difficult for us to find a way to observe it. In theory we could be going backwards and forwards in time constantly and never know it. We could be going from a state of time emerging to no time and then back again in a cycle. It almost seems to me that rather than a sequence of universes “popping out” of one another, there might be one or many but they are contracting and expanding so to speak with the arrow of time being what we observe during that process. It would follow that we really would not even take notice of it if it were happening. We are after all part of the sequence that is being affected.

  • Belizean

    Excellent! Thanks, Sean.

    [The huge wasp that shows up briefly at 2:58 (6 seconds before launch) was pretty scary.]


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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .


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