Now that SpaceX has finally sent a rocket into orbit successfully, the Elon Musk-headed company is now focusing on its next goal—hauling cargo for NASA on the Falcon 9, sending people to the International Space Station with its Dragon capsule, and possibly a moon landing as well! Quite a list for a company that only recently scattered Scotty from Star Trek's ashes all over the ocean by accident.
The Falcon 9, which has nine rocket engines to the Falcon 1's one, is scheduled to go on its maiden voyage in 1Q 2009. If SpaceX meets the reliability milestones metered out by NASA, it'll get a $US278 million award—about a tenth of the cost the government agency paid Lockheed Martin to develop its own people-transporting, space-faring rocket. [Wired]