SpaceX has succeeded in their attempt to launch the Falcon 1 rocket into space. The company, headed by eBay co-founder Elon Musk, had made three unsuccessful tries before yesterday's launch.
The tensest moment came just before stage separation. At that critical juncture, the third launch attempt had failed. This time, it worked out perfectly.
Eight minutes after leaving the ground, Falcon 1 reached a speed of 5200 meters per second and passed above the International Space Station.
"I don't know what to say... because my mind is just blown," said Musk, during a brief address to his staff after the successful launch. "This is just the first step of many."
The feat is a giant leap forward for privately-funded space ventures, and follows the spectacular 2004 suborbital flight of SpaceShipOne.