SpaceX launches 1st commercial rocket into orbit

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

An Internet entrepreneur's latest effort to make space launches more affordable has paid off.

A commercial rocket, carrying a dummy payload, was lofted into orbit Sunday from the South Pacific.

It was the fourth attempt by Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, to launch its two-stage Falcon 1 rocket into orbit.

Multi-millionaire Elon Musk started up SpaceX after making his fortune as the co-founder of PayPal, the online payment service.

Last month, SpaceX lost three government satellites, along with human ashes from the remains of astronaut Gordon Cooper and "Star Trek" actor James Doohan, after its third rocket was lost en route to space.

Musk declared: "Fourth time's a charm."

He's pledging to continue getting rockets into orbit, saying the company has resolved design issues that plagued previous attempts.

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