As you’ve probably heard, SpaceX had the second demonstration launch of its Falcon 1 launch vehicle a few days ago — and things didn’t exactly go as planned. Yet, in spite of a still-mysterious failure of the vehicle’s second stage, SpaceX’s founder, Elon Musk (who made his fortune as a cofounder of PayPal) announced that the launch was 95% successful.
I hate to say it, but this strikes me as being all too typical of the arrogance that seems to be part and parcel of much of the “alt.space” crowd. Idealism and enthusiasm aside, they’ll need to come to terms with the fact that if flying to orbit was trivial, it’d be much more common (and far cheaper) than is now the case.
I wish them all the best of luck, but also wish they’d have a somewhat firmer grasp on the work they have yet to do. Things like figuring out how to make the stages of a two-stage rocket separate properly. Other writeups on this situation are here, here, and (indirectly) here; YouTube has the launch video here.