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SpaceX Launches for Space Station-Like "Winning the Super Bowl"http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/05/120522-spacex-launch-falcon-9-international-space-station-science/Milestone mission to space station lifts offhttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47514404/ns/technology_and_science-space/SpaceX Begins History Making Journey to ISShttp://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2012/05/22/spacex-begins-history-making-journey-to-iss/Q&A: Former SpaceX Executive on Historic Launchhttp://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/05/spacex-qa-lawrence-williams/SpaceXhttp://www.spacex.com/NASA: International Space Stationhttp://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/mainAfter a launch abort this past Saturday, the Falcon 9 rocket was launched Tuesday, May 22 into space carrying what will be the first commercial spacecraft to visit the International Space Station (ISS). It's the culmination of years of work by the Space X company, which was started by Elon Musk (the founder of PayPal) in 2002. The Falcon 9 took off at 3:44AM from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and it is scheduled to arrive at the ISS on Friday. The Falcon 9 was also carrying a Dragon capsule, which was filled with cargo for the ISS crew. Shortly after launch, the capsule separated from the rocket and began a series of test maneuvers and systems demonstrations designed to test its capabilities and operations. Commenting on this historic launch, Robert Pearlman (a space-history expert) remarked that "It could set the stage for not just a series of cargo deliveries, but for American astronaut deliveries to the space station, as well as eventually establish a commercial spaceflight industry here in the United States outside of just satellite launches." As NASA's space shuttle program concluded in 2011, many have wondered whether commercial spacecraft will fill part of the ensuing vacuum. Certainly it is an interesting beginning, and one that will be worth watching in the coming years.The first link will take visitors to a piece from the National Geographic News blog that provides extensive details about the launch mission. The second link will lead interested parties to a piece from Clara Moskowitz, the assistant manager of Space.com, about the launch, along with some excellent graphics and illustrative materials. Moving on, the third link leads to a piece from this Tuesday's Voice of America about the SpaceX company and the launch. The fourth link will whisk users away to a nice interview from Wired with former SpaceX executive Lawrence Williams. The fifth link leads to the official SpaceX homepage, which is replete with details about their spacecraft and ongoing projects. The final link will take users to the homepage of the International Space Station. Here visitors will find information about life on the Station, along with images, videos, and the day-to-day operations of the facility.
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