Today, SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk (who also founded PayPal), became the first company to send a rocket into orbit from the ground. The ship, Falcon 1, reached orbit this evening, about ten minutes after its launch at 7:15 p.m. This is the greatest achievement for the private space industry since Virgin Galactic sent SpaceShipOne into suborbital flight in 2004. Here’s a video of the launch, including the successful separation of the first and second stage boosters:
Apparently it was the first stage separation that caused the failure of the most recent launch attempt. Wired has a great write up here.
I believe I have an idea for my next Story of the Week.