Elon Musk’s SpaceX Nails Mission on 3rd Launch Attempt
If the Challenger and Columbia shuttle tragedies proved anything, it’s the fact that rocket science is not something to be taken lightly when it’s being implemented on a full-scale effort. It’s only logical, then, that space-exploration startup SpaceX scrapped its two previous launch attempts of the Falcon 9 rocket literally seconds prior to ignition.
The third time proved fruitful, however, as SpaceX — led by Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk — successfully launched the Falcon 9 on Tuesday, bringing its commercial payload — a 6,918-pound, SES-8 telecommunication satellite — 22,000 miles away from Earth, the farthest mission flown by SpaceX.
NBC reports that SES is said to have paid less than $60 million for the launch, “which is tens of millions of dollars less than the going rate for satellite launches heading for geostationary orbit.” This could be a game-changing development for the industry, Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer of Luxembourg-based SES, said. ”It’s going to really shake the industry to its roots,” he told reporters in November.