SpaceX Corp. tested its Falcon 9 and a fully functioning Dragon capsule combination during a brief mission launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station December 8, 2010. The unmanned capsule parachuted back to Earth about 3 hours after liftoff following maneuvers in orbit, a first for the privately owned company.
Flames erupted from the base of the Falcon 9 at 10:43 a.m. as it sat at Launch Complex-40. A few seconds later, the rocket and its Dragon capsule pushed above the surrounding lightning towers and headedintoorbit.The first stage separated on time, and the second stage took over as planned. A camera on board the rocket showed theDragon capsule separate from the second stage and trunk to orbit on its own.Full Article