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SpaceX Dragon capsule launches successfully (VIDEO)


SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Oct. 7, 2012, launching the cargo-laden Dragon capsule into orbit en route to the International Space Station for NASA's first privately-run supply mission.


Bruce Weaver

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a private California-based company created by billionaire and PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, successfully launched its unmanned Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday.

Falcon 9 takes with it a capsule carrying tons of cargo to the International Space Station, including ice cream.

NASA awarded SpaceX with a $1.6 billion contract to complete "12 routine cargo resupply missions to the space station between now and 2015," according to Slate. Sunday was its second flight, but its first under contract.

On Sunday, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell told CNN the second mission would be akin to the first. "We got there once" already, she said.

"We demonstrated we could do it, so there might be a teeny, teeny bit of relaxation," Shotwell told reporters. "Not a lot, though."

Now that NASA has curbed its shuttle launches, they are "counting on private business to restock the space station," the Washington Post reported.

According to the Post, Falcon's name is derived from Star Wars' Millennium Falcon starship.

Here's video of the launch: