SpaceX has reported that its Falcon 9 rocket complete with dummy payload has made it into orbit with 99 per cent accuracy. PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, who ploughed large amounts of the money he made from the sale into the SpaceX venture, described the launch as a "near bull's eye" operation.
But it's not just good news for SpaceX. Nasa is relying on the company to replace its aging shuttle fleet and the Falcon 9 will be able to carry payloads into orbit for a fraction of the cost of the Space Shuttle. SpaceX will charge around $50m for a launch, compared to $130m for Nasa's proposed Ares rocket and almost a billion for a shuttle launch.
"Space X's accomplishment is an important milestone in the commercial transportation effort and puts the company a step closer to providing cargo services to the International Space Station," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
"This launch of the Falcon 9 gives us even more confidence that a resupply vehicle will be available after the space shuttle fleet is retired."
The Falcon 9 can carry seven astronauts or a significant payload of cargo and can be guided into the international Space Station by remote control.
Using photocatalysts to convert carbon dioxide into usable energy such as methane or ethane
Trained on curated data from Moorfields Eye Hospital, the neural networks show clinicians how they reached their decisions
Yokohama National University demonstrate technology that could lead to a fault-tolerant universal quantum computer
Top-of-the-range Threadripper 2990WX now available from Scan, Ebuyer, Overclockers, Novatech and Amazon