SpaceX: If At First You Don't Succeed...
Go, Hot Dog, go! On its fourth test flight, SpaceX's Falcon 1 has finally reached orbit. The 5-second delay after Main Engine Cutoff (MECO) made a big difference. On the last attempt the first stage kept burning and bumped into the second stage. Next up is the larger Falcon 9, which uses the same Merlin regeneratively cooled engine. Elon Musk will shortly approach the US government about COTS D, a capability to send humans to ISS. SpaceX is currently the best poised to take that duty after the Shuttles are retired. We can continue to wish them good fortune.
UPDATE: The first launches of Falcon 9 are scheduled for June and November 009. In March 2010 Falcon 9 and Dragon are scheduled to dock with ISS.
Jennifer of Twisted Physics hosts this week's Carnival of Space!