In light of all the disastrous news coming out of Wall Street and Washington DC. Anything to change the days news intake to something positive for private enterprise, and away from a socialist model, is always welcome news.
Today at the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific, Space X, a private space launch services company, who has designed and built their own space launch system had a success. It is the first in four tries, but it was the first time in world history that a totally privately funded space launch system occurred successfully. The rocket is called the Falcon 1. It can be done without the government.
A co-founder of the electronic payment service PayPal, [Elon] Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 to offer low-cost commercial space launches beginning with the Falcon 1.
"This is really just the first step for SpaceX," Musk said after the launch. "We've shown that we can get to orbit, we've shown that we don't have any design errors."
The Falcon 1 was designed to be cheap and easy to launch. It is fueled with liquid oxygen and kerosene. The first stage, the biggest, is designed to be recovered at sea, refurbished and reused.
In the summer of 2009, they will test the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 is a heavy lift space launch system. They are pushing to be a supply vehicle for the space station and eventually, manned space flight service provider as well.
Now with Space X, Bigalow Space, and Branson's Virgin Galactic, space is not in the hands of the government anymore. Private enterprise is making it's way into space on its own. At least that is one area that is still going in the right direction.