May 25, 2020

Astronomy Video of the Week: Falcon Takes Flight

Liftoff of a Falcon 1 rocket

on its first successful mission.

Image credit: SpaceX

What’s it like to ride on a rocket? Seven years ago on this day in 2008, a Space X Falcon 1 rocket gave us an amazing external view as it soared above the Omelek Island launch facility and Kwajelein Atoll in the central Pacific. The first successful launch after a series of three earlier attempts, the SpaceX Falcon 1 successfully deployed a boilerplate mass simulator nicknamed ‘RatSat’ in low Earth orbit. The launch marked the first successful commercial space venture, and opened the door to a new era of space privatization. [Read more...]