SoCal company hopes to soar into space history - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SoCal company hopes to soar into space history

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The Space X rocket is set to launch at 12:44am PT. Watch News 8 starting at 4:30 a.m. for the latest information.

San Diego (CBS8) - SpaceX, a company based in southern California, is set to make history. If all goes as planned, SpaceX will become the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. 

The Falcon 9 rocket is set to launch at 12:44 a.m. (PT) Tuesday from Cape Canaveral, after aborting its first launch attempt this past Saturday. Engineers have fixed the faulty check valve in one its engines, and the rocket is prepared to bring the Dragon space capsule with 1,000 pounds of food and supplies to the space station.

SpaceX Communications Director Kirstin Grantham told News 8, "It is a very difficult mission and it's a test flight. That means we may or may not be successful. The purpose of this flight is for us to get real flight data that will help us be successful in future missions. But if we are successful, this is the first time in the history a commercial company is going to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station."

Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, is headquartered in Hawthorne, CA. Grantham told News 8, "It's amazing, people don't realize that we design, manufacture, all of these rockets and spacecraft right in Los Angeles. We're only about 10 minutes from LAX airport and we're making L. A. Rocket City."

SpaceEx hopes to send astronauts aboard its capsules by 2015, and eventually tourists.

Grantham told News 8, "SpaceX's goal is to revolutionize space transportation. We need to make it possible for people to travel to space more frequently. Space travel has to be more affordable, it has to be safer, it has to be more reliable-- it has to be more like flying on an airplane. That is our goal. We've made some good first steps and we're going to keep on working until we make it possible for more people to go to space."



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