A year ago, space transportation startup SpaceX successfully launched a private unmanned ship into space to bring cargo to the International Space Station.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket blasted into space carrying a Dragon capsule full of supplies on May 22 and three days later, the ISS captured Dragon with its robotic arm. It became the first commercial spacecraft to attach to the space station, deliver cargo, and return to Earth. At the time, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden called it “the beginning of a new era in exploration.”
While this moment is just one in many historic moments concerning space, the event’s relative recentness gives it weight. The moment also skyrocketed the company’s net worth to nearly $5 billion — something that showed investors that putting a lot of cash into space could be lucrative and contributing to science. (Just a few days ago, we even got word Peter Thiel’s venture firm Mithril Capital has plans to invest in space exploration.)
On top of this event, here are a few other awesome developments we’ve seen in the past year concerning efforts to explore space: