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Hello, commercial space! SpaceX launches first Space Station supply mission

Space-X-Falcon9-Launch-Oct12

SpaceX

The era of commercial space flight officially begins. SpaceX has sent its first full resupply mission to the International Space Station.

It didn't go off without a hitch — although what hitch there was the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster's computers handled deftly as it blasted a cargo-laden Dragon capsule toward the International Space Station last night. 

Something went wrong with one engine, but the Falcon 9 was able to adjust in flight and continue the mission. According to SpaceX, the Falcon 9 is the only rocket currently flying that can do this. 

Also, it looks extremely cool when launching at night in Florida (see above).

This is the first of 12 missions that SpaceX will undertake, to resupply the ISS in the wake of the cessation of Space Shuttle flights. The Hawthorne-based startup — whose CEO, Elon Musk, also runs electric carmaker Tesla — proved earlier this year that it could launch a capsule, rendezvous with the ISS, and return cargo to Earth via the old-school splashdown route. 

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