SpaceX, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., is the first private company to embark on such a mission. Up until now, sending a spacecraft to the space station has been a feat that has only been accomplished by four of the world’s wealthiest and most technologically advanced governments: the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Union.
SpaceX was the winner of the X-Prize a couple years ago, and since have made vast improvements on their rockets. Their methods are a far cry from what we are used to from our history of launches, especially here in America. The style of launch we’re used to costs millions of dollars only to have the rocket essentially “thrown away” and not used for a second time, the only thing typically re-used in these types of missions was the shuttle. SpaceX has changed all of that, their rockets are actually meant to be recovered and relaunched multiple times, cutting costs dramatically and allowing Privatized Space launches to occur more frequently. They have also been able to secure the contract to resupply the Space Station.
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And if you’re watching this prior to May 26, you can watch live coverage of this historic launch here: