In what has ended up being a weird couple weeks for Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX founder should have a better day today after the launch of the Dragon capsule on its second resupply mission to the International Space Station. NASA announced that it had approved the mission back on Valentine’s Day, mentioning that the spacecraft will be packed with over one ton of experiments and supplies on board.
The Dragon Capsule will launch just after 10am Eastern this morning, and the launch is being broadcast live via UStream on NASA’s media channel.
The SpaceX Venture, which eventually aims at making commercial space flight a reality, has had a string of hiccups in the past that shed some pessimism on the whole endeavor. However, a few major wins, including the successful berthing of the Dragon Capsule to the ISS and the Dragon’s first supply mission, has strengthened the company’s position in the newly forged market.
SpaceX has yet to successfully complete a manned flight, but that’s in the pipeline. According to the company, the first manned SpaceX launch will go down in 2015.
It’s been an incredible year for space-centric news. SpaceX isn’t the only company delving into the private space flight game, and though NASA has shuttered parts of its exploration program, the Mars Rover is currently exploring the hell out of Mars thanks to a successful landing on the Martian surface. And who can forget Felix Baumgartner’s amazing jump to earth from the edge of space.
In related news, SpaceX founder Elon Musk recently got in a spat with the New York Times over his other transport-related project, Tesla. After the NYT said the Tesla’s new East Coast Super Charging station didn’t get him as far in the Model S EV as expected, Musk laid out the car’s technical data to disprove the reviewer’s claims.