xp65 writes with the just-announced success of Elon Musk's SpaceX's long efforts to reach orbit with a privately-developed launching craft: "T+0:08:21 Falcon 1 reached orbital velocity, 5200 m/s Nominal Second stage cut off (SECO) — Falcon 1 has made history as the first privately developed liquid fueled launch vehicle to achieve earth orbit!" dbullard adds "This was a completely new vehicle — it's not using any previously developed hardware. All developed from scratch. No government supplied hardware, Russian engines, or old ICBM motors. My hat's off to the employees of Space X — all 550 of them. (Note — no 'cast of thousands,' just 550). They've got video of the entire launch."