Today, or possibly tomorrow, the Falcon 9 rocket is slated for test launch at Cape Canaveral. When the 18-story rocket fires into orbit -- or crashes into the ocean -- it will be carrying no cargo, no astronauts, just one heavy load: Obama's hopes for space.
That's because Falcon 9 is not a NASA rocket -- it's designed and funded by SpaceX, an aeronautics company founded by Internet Entrepreneur Elon Musk. As the shuttle program winds down, the Obama Administration has been battling to get Congressional support for their plan to use privately funded rockets to ferry astronauts to and from the space station. As Obama's plans are put up for test launch, The Takeaway speaks to Tariq Malik, managing editor of space.com.