SpaceX Launches Its Most Powerful (and Largest) Rocket Yet!

Sunday, Sept. 29th, the Elon Musk owned company, SpaceX, completed yet another milestone — launching their most powerful and largest rocket off the California coast at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles at 9 am.

Watch the launch below:

Dubbed the Falcon 9 v1.1, this new rocket carried the Cassiope, a satellite, for the Canadian Space Agency which will allow the study of space storms in the upper atmosphere and their potential effects on GPS navigation and radio communications.

The Falcon 9 - Credit: thebadastronomer via Flickr

The Falcon 9 up close – Credit: thebadastronomer via Flickr

SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to make a dozen unmanned missions to restock the International Space Station — they’ve completed 3 flights so far.

Credit: jurvetson via Flickr

Credit: jurvetson via Flickr

With NASA’s space shuttle fleet retired, SpaceX is also working to modify its capsules to transport astronauts in several years. Until then, NASA astronauts are hitching rides on Russian rockets to zip to and from the space station.

Credit: Matthew Simantov via Flickr

Credit: Matthew Simantov via Flickr

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, hopes one day to reuse the first stage and is looking to create some new technology that would allow the first stage of the Falcon 9 to refire after separating from the second stage and conduct some flight maneuvers. This would allow it to land safely rather than crash into the water. Musk is encouraged that SpaceX is on the right track and reusable, less-costly rockets are inevitable!

Elon Musk - Credit: OnInnovation via Flickr

Elon Musk – Credit: OnInnovation via Flickr

Who is Elon Musk? 

He began with news, dropping out of graduate school and founding Zip2 as a content-publishing platform for newspapers. With the money earned from selling Zip2, Musk turned to banking, co-founding the company that would grow into PayPal and be acquired by EBay (EBAY). After that sale, Musk made the transition to aerospace. He founded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, which has dramatically pushed launch technology forward and even replaced the space shuttle as the system for supplying the International Space Station. While still working on SpaceX, Musk shook up the automobile field when he co-founded Tesla Motors (TSLA), where he still serves as head of product design. Musk was also the impetus for SolarCity (SCTY), one of the dominant providers of solar energy services in the United States. Musk remains chairman and largest shareholder at SolarCity, even as he heads Tesla and SpaceX.

 WeatherBug always has our eyes on the skies and are a proud supporter of NASA, who is a customer of ours!

We look forward to future successful launches!

-The WeatherBug-Earth Networks Team



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