The first test version of SpaceX's Falcon-9 medium-lift booster has taken off from Cape Canaveral. It carries a mockup of the Dragon capsule, intended to haul materials and astronauts into low Earth orbit.
COMMENT: Entrepreneur Elon Musk makes no secret of his enthusiasm to help humans colonize space. That's why he put a big chunk of the fortune he earned inventing, running, and then selling PayPal into an effort to make boosters cheaper and more reliable, taking on industry giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin where several other companies had failed. He persevered through early failures of the smaller Falcon-1 and built the nine-engine Falcoln-9 and its test capsule. If the Falcon-9 system performs as Musk hopes, he wants to snag a big chunk of the money President Obama's new NASA budget would direct to private companies to provide orbital launch services. Fingers crossed.