SpaceX's Private Dragon Spaceship Launch Wins Twitter Praise
This view from a camera mounted to the second stage of the private spaceflight company SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket shows the blue Earth fall behind as the rocket launches an unmanned Dragon space capsule on Dec. 8, 2010.
Credit: SpaceX

Almost immediately after commercial rocket company SpaceX launched its Dragon spaceship for the first time, the Twitterverse was abuzz this morning (Dec. 8) with the news.

The hashtag #SpaceX was trending, and congratulations poured in from all corners.

"Dragon in the sky! Congratulations to the SpaceX team for a successful launch," tweeted the officials behind NASA's Kepler planet-hunting mission, while NASA's deputy administrator Lori Garver had this to say: "Congrats to SpaceX on a picture perfect launch!"

Dragon lifted off atop SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket at 10:43 a.m. EST (1543 GMT) from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40 in Florida.

"Congratulations to SpaceX on their successful Falcon 9 launch this morning!" tweeted Wayne Hale, a former NASA shuttle program manager.

SpaceX was founded by millionaire Elon Musk, who also cofounded the online payment system Paypal. Today's launch apparently made his mother proud.

"Congratulations SpaceX & my son Elon! Waiting for Dragon to re-enter atmosphere. Then I'll need to workout," tweeted Maye Musk.

X Prize founder Peter Diamandis tweeted, "Congrats Elon & SpaceX! Falcon9/Dragon launch going perfect."

The flight was Falcon 9's second launch, coming six months after a successful inaugural test flight.

"Way to Go SpaceX-- Falcon 9 is two for two! Now Dragon's turn to debut! Already a good day for Commercial Space!" tweeted planetary scientist Alan Stern, a former associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

Another planetary scientist, Caltech's Mike Brown (famous for discovering the dwarf planet Eris), chimed in after viewing the broadcast of the camera feed from the rocket: "Whoa. The view FROM Falcon 9 is FABULOUS."

The launch was also the first under NASA's COTS program (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services), which funds commercial companies to develop spacecraft capable of carrying cargo and people to the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez tweeted, "NASA's Commercial Orbital Transp. Services Program's SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral today!"

Accolades also came from less-expected quarters, such as actor Seth Green, who wrote, "Super exciting! RT @NASA SpaceX Falcon 9 launch at T-8 and counting."

Actor and film director Jon Favreau, who helmed "Iron Man" and its sequel, wrote, "SpaceX(where we shot Hammer Industries in IM2) launches rocket. Congrats Elon!" (Musk had a cameo in Iron Man 2).

SpaceX is chronicling the mission on Twitter as @SpaceXer and @SpaceXmissions.