It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s the First Private Spaceship Launched Into Orbit

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Photo: Bruce Weaver/AFP/Getty Images

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launched successfully into orbit and is currently circling the Earth, the first private space capsule ever to do so. If the spaceship can survive the descent back to Earth, something only five countries and one intergovernmental agency have managed thus far, SpaceX founder Elon Musk will be one step closer to winning a contract to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station — oh, and realizing his dream of colonizing Mars. Baby steps. [PopSci, Technology/LAT]