A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched the first Dragon spaceship into orbit today. After making two orbits of the Earth, it splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean off the West Coast. This is the first time a non-government spaceship has accomplished this.
In addition to its contract with NASA to resupply the ISS, SpaceX has contracts with Iridium to launch new satellites and with Bigelow to launch space station segments.
Initially, the Dragon spaceship will be used only to carry cargo. Eventually, it will be able to ferry 7 astronauts into orbit.