SpaceX Finally Hits Orbit, On Fourth Try

Hawthorne-based SpaceX, which is developing private space launch vehicles, has finally hit orbit with its fourth try. According to SpaceX, its Falcon 1 launch vehicle successfully launched and achieved Earth orbit last night. The firm, which is looking to create more affordable space launch vehicles, said that its Falcon 1 vehicle lifted off at 4:15PM Sunday evening, carrying a dummy payload. SpaceX is the space vehicles venture of ex-PayPal founder Elon Musk; the firm recently scored $20M in a funding round from fellow PayPal vets Peter Thiel and Elon Musk of the Founders Fund. The three prior launches at SpaceX, including one in August, have failed. The August launch also resulted in the loss of satellites for the U.S. Department of Defense and a Malaysian R&D project, plus the ashes of James Doohan - "Scotty" of Star Trek fame.