Space X to attempt test launch of new Falcon 9 rocket today at 11am EDT

June 4, 2010

Just a heads-up to any space/science nerds, in case you didn’t already know about this: Space X, the private company widely considered to be frontrunner in the race to become the official provider of low-earth orbit spaceflight to NASA’s astronauts after the space shuttle is retired, will be executing the first test launch of their Falcon 9 rocket today at 11am EDT. If all goes as planned, the rocket will liftoff carrying a mock payload. This is the first full scale test of the rocket, so they don’t expect everything to be perfect, and the vehicle may not even reach orbital velocity. Even if it does not, the test will be a success, because the primary goal of this flight is to gather flight data. You can watch the webcast starting at 10:40am EDT (that’s 9:40am for us Nashvillians) on the Space X website.

If Space X keeps up their current pace, they will be on track to have the capability to safely ferry astronauts to and from the ISS long before NASA’s Constellation program would’ve been able to. This is why Obama and the Augustine Commission were correct to recommend the termination of the Constellation program and allow the budding commercial spaceflight industry to takeover the task of getting our astronauts to low-earth orbit.

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