If that homebrew rocket you've been building in your backyard isn't working out, maybe SpaceX
will have some room for you on one of its many upcoming Falcon 9 missions. Now that the F1 has successfully achieved orbit
, the F9 is slated for launch in Q1 2009. As you may recall
, the aptly named Falcon 9 has nine engines rather than one, as with the F1. These redundancies were inspired by the Apollo's Saturn V and Saturn I rockets, noted for their flawless flight records despite engine failures. If all goes well, the launch will be followed by three more, including one with a crew and an F9 "Heavy" -- handy if you've got 25,300 lbs of marbles or whatever to haul up to the International Space Station. If you plan on hitching a ride, get your job applications in now -- only valued employees are scheduled to be passengers at this time. Got a more exotic destination in mind? Next up Elon Musk
, founder of SpaceX, has his sights set on building a "Mars lander of some kind."