SpaceX Orbits Successfully
SpaceX has been steadily making progress with their commercial space operations since their Falcon9 orbit nearly six months ago. Their most recent success comes with the safe return of a capsule from LEO (Low Earth Orbit). According to NASA administrator Charles Bolden, "This is the first in a new generation of commercial launch systems that will help provide vital support to the International Space Station and may one day carry astronauts into orbit. This successful demonstration flight is an important milestone in meeting the objectives outlined by President Obama and Congress, and shows how government and industry can leverage expertise and resources to foster a new and vibrant space economy." During it's test, the Dragon spacecraft attained an altitude of roughly 180 miles, made two orbits and exercised its maneuver thrusters before splashing down safely into the Pacific. It is designed to carry cargo or a crew of seven into LEO with the intention of docking to the ISS. Video is available from NASA.