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Liftoff! SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket Debut

Light My Fire


The engines ignite on SpaceX's first Falcon 9 rocket as the clock ticks down to zero for the first ever launch of the brand new private rocket backed by millionaire Elon Musk on June 4, 2010.



Falcon 9 prior to its first flight

Here to Go


See photos of SpaceX's landmark first launch of its new Falcon 9 rocket on June 4, 2010. California-based SpaceX is developing new Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon spacecraft to send cargo and possibly people into orbit. Here, SpaceX\'s first Falcon 9 rocket i

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Tariq Malik

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining, 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.