TECH
04/12/2013 06:17 GMT | Updated 04/12/2013 06:52 GMT

SpaceX Launches Rocket Carrying Commercial Satellite In Big Win For Elon Musk

Elon Musk took another step in his quest to dominate commercial space exploration by successfully launching a communications satellite into space.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Tuesday after being postponed two times last week due to technical problems.

Musk tweeted a number of pics of the launch including this spectacular shot.

The launch is highly significant as it only cost £36.6 million, far less than the usual rate.

It was also significant as it was to a much higher orbit than previous launches which restocked the ISS with supplies.

Martin Halliwell, chief technical officer at satellite operator SES, told the BBC: "The entry of SpaceX into the commercial market is a game-changer - it is going to really shake the industry to its roots."

They are competing with Boeing and Sierra Nevada for a lucrative Nasa contract to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

spacex

SpaceX has a busy work schedule ahead with 5o further launches in the pipeline worth £2.44 billion.

Other notable SpaceX achievements include their Grasshopper reusable rocket.

The company is also developing the Falcon Heavy launch system which will be the most powerful rocket in the world and has the potential to take humans to Mars.

Musk also has a few other projects in the pipeline including his rather mysterious Hyperloop Transit System.