SpaceX Falcon 1 - first privately-funded spacecraft in orbit
After three dismal failures, the fourth launch attempt resulted in the two-stage Falcon 1 streaking into orbit last night after a flawless liftoff at 7:15pm EDT. Even though this orbital insertion occurs 45 years after the first time NASA did it, it's a first for a privately-funded commercial venture.
· re-use of the first stage after a Pacific splashdown
· launch 1,256-pound payloads atop the 68-foot rocket into low earth orbit.
· launch a bigger design called Falcon 9, destined for cargo hauling to the International Space Station.