After three failed launches, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk scraped together enough funding to launch a fourth version of SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket. On September 28, 2008, Musk's gamble paid off when the Falcon 1 became the first privately developed liquid-fuel rocket to orbit Earth. The rocket is seen here lifting off from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands.
Pictures Show a Decade of SpaceX Making Spaceflight History
While chasing CEO Elon Musk’s dream of sending humans to Mars, the private company has set a number of industry records.
Against a bright blue sky and the clamor of roaring applause, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket completed a (mostly) successful first flight on February 6, 2018. The huge rocket is now the most powerful launch vehicle in operation, rivaling the capabilities of the Saturn V rocket that sent humans to the moon during the Apollo era.
The milestone moment for SpaceX included the launch from Florida's Cape Canaveral, as well as near-simultaneous landings of the Falcon Heavy's reusable side boosters. However, the central core—which was supposed to land on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean—failed to properly fire its engines and slammed into the sea at about 300 miles an hour.
Still, the rocket's upper stage and payload, a cherry-red