It sounds like the beginning of a Kurt Vonnegut novel, but the first privately owned spacecraft will make its attempt at breaking through the atmosphere and returning safely. If this trip proves successful, NASA will look towards private funding. The New York Daily News reports:
The future of the space travel will undergo a crucial test Tuesday when the first privately owned spaceship attempts a launch into orbit.
If it succeeds, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule will then try to reenter the atmosphere – also a first for a nongovernment-owned spacecraft.
The outcome of the launch will play a vital role in determining the direction of U.S. space travel as NASA looks to private companies to fill in the gap as the space shuttle program is put into mothballs next year.