This time around the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket did indeed blast into history on an earth-shaking column of rumbling flame. After a last-minute aborted mission just two days earlier, the first-ever private spacecraft rocketed toward the International Space Station, its Dragon capsule packed with 1,000 pounds of food, supplies, and high school science projects, reports CNN.
The predawn lift-off at Florida's Cape Canaveral was trouble-free and heralded a new space-travel marriage between NASA and the private sector. The next test for the operation will occur Thursday as the Dragon carries out maneuvers in advance of its anticipated space station docking on Friday, reports AP. The capsule is unmanned, but will be "beaming up" James Doohan and his beloved alter ego Scotty, whose remains, along with those of some 300 other hardcore space fans, will be blasted into orbit to travel the cosmos via Dragon, notes the Guardian.