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.
We are hearing from Mission Control that the pad abort
involved an out-of-limit startup parameter.
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.
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 stopped watching it on CNN after the "abort" because I thought that meant for the rest of the day... :-(
Congratulations to everybody involved in this amazing achievement.
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.
Warning, going to plug my blog
I wrote something about it back when it happened:
(on a side note: am I right in thinking the gas venting from the side is pressure release?)
Guess that's what it takes to reach the stars.
Would be interesting to know if the roll that was occurring as the ship reached orbit was intentional.
Can you imagine that sneaking into a NASA launch? Love it!!
I hope they'll get another chance today.
– edit: They will try again today. Reason for the abort was “an out-of-limit startup parameter.”
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...