At 3:44AM ET this morning, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, in the first mission to the International Space Station by a privately-funded company. The Dragon capsule is currently in orbit with solar arrays deployed and, if all goes to plan following the launch, will dock with the ISS early Friday morning. The test flight will demonstrate SpaceX's capability to both abort and successfully perform a rendezvous with the station. Once successful, the company will have the green light to push forward with a $1.6 billion contract with NASA under which it will carry out 12 delivery missions to the ISS. You can follow the mission's progress on Twitter through the SpaceX and Kennedy Space Center accounts.
Liftoff!!!! #DragonLaunch spacex.com— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 22, 2012