Feeds

The Falcon has taken off

SpaceX Dragon roars at last

The next step in data security

This time, it worked: the SpaceX Falcon 9 has lifted off without incident, and is on the way to the International Space Station.

After the weekend’s launch was aborted due to a valve error causing excessively high pressures in chamber number 5, SpaceX spokespeople correctly stated that there was no “failure”: the software functioned correctly in the presence of a malfunction, and the rocket was preserved intact.

Those old enough to remember the days of “light the blue touch paper and retire” are probably sympathetic with the feeling: you know you lit the fuse, but the rocket just didn’t lift. The problem had been caused by a failed check-valve.

Kevin Brogan, propulsion engineer for SpaceX, said ahead of today’s launch: “we take the engines up to full power … the computer aborted the launch and put the vehicle into safe mode, which is exactly what was designed to happen. I couldn’t be happier ... that’s the way we designed our system.”

Falcon 9 at lift-off (source: SpaceX webcast)

The Dragon capsule boosts 1,000 pounds (a little over 453 kg) of provisions to astronauts aboard the International Space Station (who must surely be tapping their watches impatiently and wondering if there was a delivery guarantee on their pizza). The spacecraft is now in the process of “catching up” with the ISS.

The successful launch marks the first time a private venture has successfully sent a mission to the ISS – and opens the era of private space travel. Falcon 9 achieved orbit on time, and the successful deployment of its solar arrays at around 13 minutes after lift-off was greeted with cheers. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.