IN SPACE - JULY 10: In this handout image provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), NASA space shuttle Atlantis in Earth orbit.
It's all eyes to the sky this evening as the widely-anticipated Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. If successful, the mission would put a SES communications satellite into orbit, but the implications extend far beyond the expected increase in television and cable services in Asian markets.
The Falcon 9 is the baby of Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, a private company founded by Elon Musk (the same Musk who founded Tesla). Today's mission, the first-ever commercial satellite launch, would position SpaceX as a serious player in a multibillion dollar industry dominated by just a handful of companies and NASA.
With more ambitious, private companies like SpaceX entering the space race, will established space transportation companies like Boeing and Lockheed be able to keep up?
Joel Achenbach, National Reporter at the Washington Post