Yesterday, SpaceX (finally!) managed to get their Falcon 9 rocket off the ground, carrying the Dragon capsule to the International Space Station, and thus filling the void that the retirement of the Space Shuttles has left. Given that SpaceX has a South African expat at the helm, it’s kind of hard not to feel proud about this moment:
Docking with the ISS is scheduled for Friday — given that this is the first docking (or rather, a berthing, as the Dragon capsule can’t dock with the ISS yet), SpaceX will be taking a little while longer than the two days typically taken by the Space Shuttle and Soyuz craft, due to the necessity of having to fully test all systems first. I’ll keep a close eye on when that happens.
For the more geeky readers, SpaceX has put out a press kit (PDF warning) with all sorts of juicy details regarding mission objectives, schedule, specifications, and so forth. Definitely worth the read if you’re into that kind of thing.