A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has made a trip to space for the 50th time.
The mission itself wasn't among the company's most spectacular: There was no dramatic landing of the first-stage booster, and there was no Hispasat 30W-6 to orbit high above the equator.. Instead, the feat involved transporting a bus-size Spanish communications satellite named
But the fact that Elon Musk's space company reached the milestone in less than eight years is impressive when you consider it took both the space shuttle program and the competing Atlas V rocket (now a product of United Launch Alliance) more than a decade to reach the same point.
Due to "unfavorable weather conditions in the recovery area" at sea, SpaceX made no attempt to recover the Falcon 9 that launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 12:33 a.m. Tuesday local time.
The unrecovered booster will nonetheless go down as a footnote in the history of space, especially ifwinds up paying off in the long run.