Reports indicate that the much-anticipated launch of a private rocket by NASA has been successful. Falcon 9, the rocket owned by Space X was successfully launched into space on Sunday, according to reports.
The launch is historic because it marks the first time that NASA is launching a private rocket into orbit. On Sunday, the Space X’s massive rocket successfully lifted off the LC39A launch pad, a common launchpad for the famed lunar missions of the 1970s at the Kennedy Space Centre, reports indicate.
The mission of the rocket is to deliver fresh supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). The rocket operates by delivering a specially-built spacecraft on orbit for particular missions. In this case, the Falcon 9 was used to deliver Dragon, a special spacecraft, on orbit. Dragon is expected to deliver the supplies to ISS in a series of highly complicated outer space manoeuvres.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 19, 2017
Soon after Falcon 9 lifted off the launch pad, Space X confirmed that the rocket was in good condition.
‘The Dragon spacecraft is also in good condition,’ the company added.
The company also indicated that Dragon is expected to start the docking process with the ISS on Wednesday. Space vehicles usually use docking, a complex mechanical process, to get in touch with each other for technical reasons. In this case, Dragon is expected to dock with the ISS for the supplies to be delivered successfully.
— NASA (@NASA) February 19, 2017
Last Sunday’s successful launch of Dragon by Falcon 9 marks a turning point in the fortunes of Space X. For years now, Space X has been banking on its technology to be the first company to carry out space tourism trips. The company has indicated that it will be relying on reusable rockets to launch specially-built space tour vehicles in space.
Prior to the Sunday launch, Space X has been forced to abort some of its most critical missions. Last year, the company had to abort a mission to outer space (a trial one) after one of its rockets exploded minutes before the onset of the launch sequence.
Later, another attempt at launching a rocket with a satellite to space by the company failed after the rocket and the satellite it was carrying exploded, minutes after liftoff.
The current space vehicles by the company have been specially designed to take humans into space. It remains to be seen how things will play out over the next few months.