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The First Falcon 9 Launch (youtube.com)
125 points by ugh on June 4, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 40 comments


IT LAUNCHED! I can't contain my excitement. That vehicle will transport astronauts to space stations (and beyond?) in the Dragon capsule.

At 11:48, stage separation confirmed, and 2nd stage ignition as well. So, so amazing!

At 11:54, Falcon 9 achieved earth orbit.

The video signal has now been lost (too far away, apparently!)

So, so cool.


From the website:

    It looks as if we may have experienced a shutdown
    condition just after ignition. In these situations the
    vehicle puts itself into “safe mode”. There may be the
    chance to “recycle” the count and try again.
The reason appears to be (as of 10:57)

    We are hearing from Mission Control that the pad abort 
    involved an out-of-limit startup parameter.
It looks like they're going to try it again, but that was from 10:30 Pacific Time. (Edit: they say they are, as of 10:58.)

At 11:26 (PST), a bird flew by… still waiting on "T-zero time from Mission Control."

Retry scheduled for 11:45 (PST)!

Systems checks looking good (11:41 PST).

It's the little kid inside of me, I know, but I want SpaceX to succeed. Their goals have been dreams of mine all my life.

That was so awesome. My 8yr old was jumping up and down, cheering. It was just a beautiful launch.

I feel like I'm 4 all over again myself and watching the moonshot on our grainy black and white tv...

What a fantastic day this is. History was made today, I know there will be plenty of people to try to diminish the achievement by saying 'we did all this in the 60's', but what matters here is that it is not some government entity doing it, it's a company doing it and where there is one there'll be more.

Space is finally really being opened up, and with a bit of luck the pace will now accelerate.

I'm all for a second space race.

I completely agree. And also, yes, we did do it in the 60's and it was an amazing feat of science/math/engineering to have done so. But what really gets me... look at the technology we have available to us now compared to what it was 50 years ago. Once we get over the initial hurdles of making this work with modern technology in the private sector, things have changed and improved so much that the level of innovation is really just going to skyrocket, I think (pun fully intended!). It is extremely exciting that they did it now, but what's even more exciting is the potential of where this can now go.

Is there a replay somewhere?

I stopped watching it on CNN after the "abort" because I thought that meant for the rest of the day... :-(

main article link is now a youtube link:


Thanks! But the darn "buffering" skipped over some of the good parts...

Absolutely fantastic news, so much for all the naysayers.

Congratulations to everybody involved in this amazing achievement.

Ooh, I would have missed this were it not for the delay. Now I can watch.

Also, here's the instruction manual! http://www.spacex.com/Falcon9UsersGuide_2009.pdf

The prospect of real, affordable, commercial spaceflight is very exciting to me. I feel like a little kid again.

user guide, nice. hope they have a Python API!

The Houston Python users group has some NASA / Constellation guys... I suspect they might have a Python api.

Don't despair SpaceX fans, it took 4 tries to get Falcon 1 into orbit.

Warning, going to plug my blog

I wrote something about it back when it happened:


Now I have to rush off and watch a robot a mile below the ocean surface, 50 miles out to sea, attempt a heroic effort to cap a catastrophic oil spill. Ho hum.

These are amazing times indeed!

There she goes :) I always feel like a little kid watching rocket launches, only now I want to be a Rocket Engineer instead of an Astronaut (ok, as well as).

(on a side note: am I right in thinking the gas venting from the side is pressure release?)

Both the first and second stage have venting ports.

Video without the 'buffering': http://www.spacex.com/multimedia/videos.php?id=51

For my money, Elon Musk is _the_ entrepreneur. Gotta admire this man.

From Wikipedia: "Musk has described himself as a workaholic who routinely puts in 100-hour work weeks, primarily on his businesses Tesla Motors and SpaceX. In his rare free time, he says he plays with his five children"

Guess that's what it takes to reach the stars.

The audio just announced they have time today for another attempt. Yay.

They re-started the countdown timer: "New takeoff time is 2:45 EST"

I wonder when Elon Musk will be the richest man alive. Maybe sometime around 2020 if he plays his cards right?

But it is more fun to see him do with just a few hundred million what huge corporation couldn't do with a lot more money.

Incredible! It reminded me of watching the Apollo launches when I was a kid. The web video feed was fantastic - amazing to be able to watch the Earth falling away in real-time.

Would be interesting to know if the roll that was occurring as the ship reached orbit was intentional.

Awesome news! I wonder if there are viable alternatives to launch against chemical rockets? Also, bitgravity sucks big time, couldn't get a frame from them, let alone a stream.

Nope, there are no currently viable alternatives to chemical rockets. There are possibilities such as nuclear rockets and space elevators which might be viable in the future. A space elevator mainly requires advances in ultra-strong cable materials. A nuclear rocket would require a drastic change in government policies and public attitudes about nuclear technology.

Love how you can hear a guy in the background: "that's fuckin awesome".

Can you imagine that sneaking into a NASA launch? Love it!!

That video is painful to watch, I don't suppose anyone has found a better version elsewhere?

It just spun around a bunch and then the feed cut. Is the show over or did something happen?

Yes, show is over, the falcon is behind the horizon.

As of 2:30 Eastern the count resumed and is at 14 minutes.

Wow that was so close...

I hope they'll get another chance today.

Perhaps we should explain that for all those hitting the link and being confused: The launch was aborted in – literally – the last second. Maybe they can try again today, maybe not.

– edit: They will try again today. Reason for the abort was “an out-of-limit startup parameter.”

It looks like they will re-try, the counter was just reset to t-15:00 again, but holding for now.

Apparently no engines actually fired so they're cleared to re-try. Wonder what the cause of the shut-down was, but shut-downs are better than on the pad explosions I guess...

Does the Bitgravity stream have audio?

Yep, it’s just silent most of the time.

Yay! :) :) :)

keeping toes and fingers crossed...

I'm investing in asteroid mining now...

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