First ever commercial space cargo flight takes off
"This expanded role for the private sector will free up more of NASA’s resources to do what NASA does best — tackle the most demanding technological challenges in space, including those of human space flight beyond low Earth orbit."
- John Holdren, President Barack Obama’s chief science adviser
The head of Nasa has hailed a 'new era' in exploration after the launch of the first cargo delivery to the space station by a private company.
The Falcon rocket, topped by an unmanned Dragon freight capsule, lifted clear of its Florida pad at 03:44 EDT (07:44 GMT; 08:44 BST).
The launch system has been built by California-based firm SpaceX.