Elon Musk’s SpaceX Nails Mission on 3rd Launch Attempt

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SpaceX Falcon 9

Tuesday’s launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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.

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