SpaceX just launched their Falcon 9 rocket to a rendezvous with the ISS:
- SpaceX launch successful, plans to dock with ISS on Friday (Reason Hit & Run)
This mission is known as COTS 2, for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services. That acronym gives me shivers. Here’s Elon Musk explaining why:
This mission heralds the dawn of a new era of space exploration, one in which there is a significant commercial space element. It is like the advent of the Internet in the mid-1990s when commercial companies entered what was originally a government endeavor. That move dramatically accelerated the pace of advancement and made the Internet accessible to the mass market. I think we’re at a similar inflection point for space. I hope and I believe that this mission will be historic in marking that turning point towards a rapid advancement in space transportation technology.
(That link’s probably going to become obsolete in a few months; SpaceX don’t seem to have a way to link to individual updates. This is something else that reminds me of the mid-’90s internet.)