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| Space on May 22, 2012

Successful SpaceX launch sends craft on historic mission to ISS

The SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket successfully blasted off this morning and is now on its way to a history-making journey to the International Space Station.

The Falcon-9 rocket owned by SpaceX – a privately-owned company – launched successfully at 3:44 a.m. EDT (7:44 UTC) today (May 22, 2012). SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has separated from the rocket successfully, and its solar arrays have deployed. The SpaceX craft is now on its historic mission to deliver a supply capsule to the International Space Station.

This morning's successful launch of SpaceX's Falcon-9 rocket. Image Credit: NASA TV via Space.com

Space X’s Falcon-9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida as the controller uttered these historic words:

T-minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, zero. And, launch of the Space X Falcon 9 rocket as NASA turns to the private sector to resupply the ISS.

Space X mission controllers were seen cheering and exchanging hugs when it was confirmed the capsule and rocket had successfully reached orbit.

The rocket aborted its launch on Saturday, May 19 at the last half-second. Space X says computers detected slightly high pressure inside the central engine of its Falcon-9 rocket. Engineers traced the problem to a faulty valve, which has now been replaced.

Bottom line: SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket launched successfully at 3:44 a.m. EDT (7:44 UTC) today (May 22, 2012). SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has separated from the rocket successfully, and its solar arrays have deployed. The SpaceX craft is now on its historic mission to deliver a supply capsule to the International Space Station.