Cape Canaveral, Florida (CNN) -- Friday's test launch of the Falcon 9 rocket was "essentially a bullseye," SpaceX officials said after the rocket successfully pushed past the earth's atmosphere and deposited a mock-up of its Dragon space capsule in orbit.
The successful launch is the latest step toward commercial space ventures that could eventually ferry astronauts and cargo to the international space station.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, sent out the technical details of the successful launch, which he said performed its mission to deposit the Dragon mock-up into a 155-mile (250-km) orbit to near perfection.
"Nominal shutdown and orbit was almost exactly 250 km," Musk said in a written statement. "Telemetry showed essentially a bullseye: 126;0.2% on perigee and 126;1% on apogee." The capsule is expected to orbit for about a year and eventually burn up in the atmosphere. NASA administrator Charles Bolden congratulated the SpaceX team.
"Space X's accomplishment is an important milestone in the commercial transportation effort and puts the company a step closer to providing cargo services to the International Space Station," he said.
Former Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart was high on the launch's possibilities.
"As a former Apollo astronaut, I think it's safe to say that SpaceX and the other commercial developers embody the 21st century version of the Apollo frontier spirit. It's enormously gratifying to see them succeed today," he said.
NASA hopes companies such as SpaceX can take over transportation to the international space station.
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To this I say, BRAVO to Space X and the team that designed and built Falcon 9! OUTSTANDING!