Today was a day that both conservatives and liberals can agree was one for the history books. On its first try, a rocket that's capable of lifting almost as much as the shuttle to the International Space Station succeeded in blasting to orbit. And that rocket, the raptor-named Falcon 9, was privately funded and developed by startup company SpaceX.

We still don't have a very-heavy-lift rocket, like the Saturn V that took us to the moon, but no one does because no one is willing to find a use for it. Until we have a well-defined, well-funded and broadly supported mission for such a vehicle, we shouldn't develop one. But private industry is taking up the challenge thrown down by President Obama, who wants to get NASA back in the business of science and exploration and out of the business of "truck driving" with heavy-lift vehicles like the FalconX.

Bravo SpaceX.

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