Thursday, July 16, 2009

From 30 Monroe Street To The Marshall Islands: Sid Birnbaum's Grandson

SpaceX Successfully Delivers First Payload to Space
After three years just as many failed launches, and a couple of lost satellites, private rocket company SpaceX successfully delivered its first payload into orbit yesterday using their Falcon 1 rocket.
The rocket launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, and reached space after a ten minute flight. The payload consisted of a Malaysian satellite named RazakSAT, which will take high resolution pictures of Malaysia (think Google Earth).
This launch is a landmark for privately funded space flight. Last year, SpaceX won a contract to supply the International Space Station after the shuttle retires, and this launch stands as the first physical proof that SpaceX can get the job done.
To further develop their space delivery capability, SpaceX plans to follow this launch up later in the year with a launch of their larger rocket, Falcon 9.
As the above video shows, the launch went off without a hitch, and as the below photo shows, SpaceX mission control was pretty damn happy about it.
A link to spectacular pictures from a more recent launch

Mr. Jesse Hecht, (B. S., E SC, 2004) recently returned to the department to recruit both undergraduate and graduate students. Mr. Hecht is employed in the Launch and Test Operations Group of SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies)--a company that he describes as having significant growth potential for employees.
In August, 2006, SpaceX was selected by NASA to demonstrate delivery and return of cargo (reusable commercial space vehicles) to the International Space Station. Mr. Hecht's own involvement has included the satellite launch team and the development of a new launch pad at Cape Canaveral where his primary thrust has been devoted to the turn around vehicles for the shuttle.
Mr. Hecht is a member of the Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) newly created ESM Alumni Advisory Board

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