Private spaceflight company inches closer to manned missions (Updated!)

The jury's still out on NASA handing over the reins to private companies to lead us into space, but SpaceX, one of said companies, just launched its first spaceship into orbit with the intent of bringing it back safely. In fact, it's the first time a private spaceflight company has ever done this — bringing it back being the important thing.

SpaceX confirmed earlier today via Twitter that its Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the company's Dragon capsule that could one day ferry human cargo, has successfully positioned Dragon in orbit — the comapny even took a picture from the spaceship's onboard camera of the view.

If all goes well, the Dragon capsule should find itself splashing down 500 miles off the coast of Mexico later today, completing a historic milestone for SpaceX: launching its crew capsule spaceship into orbit and then bringing it back successfully.

Check out a video of the rocket making its run from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida down below.

Update: The Dragon capsule has splashed down successfully, according to NASA.

SPACE, via PopSci

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