Today at 5:37 p.m. EST, SpaceX will enter the history books. Carrying a massive commercial satellite, the private spaceflight company's upgraded Falcon 9 rocket will lift off, carrying its payload into orbit. The flight will officially welcome SpaceX into the commercial spaceflight marketplace, something that those in the know think will have a dramatic impact on the nascent industry.
"The entry of SpaceX into the commercial market is a game-changer. It's going to really shake the industry to its roots."
That's a quote from Martin Halliwell, the chief technology officer at communications satellite company SES. He's putting his money where his mouth is, too. Today's payload is his company's SES-8 satellite. To get the satellite into the proper geostationary orbit, the SpaceX rocket will have to fly higher than it has to date.
Launching one of your own satellites into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will run you $56.7 million. According to Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX (amongst other things), that price was set to create an affordable, more reliable launch vehicle than the competition can currently offer.
"I believe its inherent reliability potential is better than any other rocket in the world,and it is up to us to live up to that potential." — Elon Musk
Musk and his SpaceX crew will have their first commercial test of that touted reliability today at 5:37 p.m. EST. Coverage will begin here at 5 p.m. EST, so tune in if you'd like to watch SpaceX rocket its way into the commercial spaceflight marketplace.