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Liftoff! SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket Debut

Information, That's What I Need

Karl Tate, SPACE.com

The Falcon 9 Rocket and Dragon Spacecraft: See the craft in detail, plus how it stacks up to a Russian Soyuz rocket and NASA's space shuttles.

Come Talk to Me

NASA/Bill Ingalls

President Barack Obama walks with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk while touring the SpaceX launch facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on April 15, 2010. The President stopped by on his way to visit NASA’s nearby Kennedy Space Center to deliver remarks on his planned new for U.S. human space flight.

Earth Below Us

SpaceX

This view from a camera on SpaceX's first Falcon 9 rocket shows the Earth far below as the rocket soared into orbit on its inaugural launch June 4, 2010.

Up Where We Belong

SpaceX

SpaceX's debut Falcon 9 rocket enters earth orbit on its maiden flight during a June 4, 2010 test launch.

Keep 'Em Separated

SpaceX

SpaceX's debut Falcon 9 rocket dispenses with its first stage during a June 4, 2010 test launch.

Squeezing Out Sparks

SpaceX

SpaceX's debut Falcon 9 rocket soars into space on its maiden flight during a June 4, 2010 test launch.

Birds of a Feather

collectSPACE/Robert Z. Pearlman

SpaceX's debut Falcon 9 rocket soars into space on its maiden flight during a June 4, 2010 test launch.

Little Fluffy Clouds

ChrisThompson/SpaceX

SpaceX's debut Falcon 9 rocket soars into space on its maiden flight during a June 4, 2010 test launch.

Blaze of Glory

ChrisThompson/SpaceX

SpaceX's debut Falcon 9 rocket soars into space on its maiden flight during a June 4, 2010 test launch.

The Bird has Flown

collectSPACE.com

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on its maiden flight from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on June 4, 2010.

Going for the One

ChrisThompson/SpaceX

SpaceX's debut Falcon 9 rocket soars into space on its maiden flight during a June 4, 2010 test launch.

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Tariq Malik

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the Space.com team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.