The beginning of a historic period in American spaceflight began very early this morning when SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket, which was carrying their Dragon capsule, as it began its mission to rendezvous and dock with the International Space Station (ISS).

As they say in space parlance the mission is currently performing nominally and as long as things continue to go as they are the Dragon capsule will rendezvous with the ISS on Friday with docking scheduled for 11:05 AM EST. When that occurs it will be the first commercial spacecraft to dock at the ISS.  Actually, for this mission, Dragon will be berthed by the ISS astronauts manually by grabbing it with the station’s robotic arm and docking it to be unloaded.

Some of you may be aware that Google recently opened up the ability of any YouTube subscriber to broadcast and record an On Air Google+ Hangout to their YouTube channel.  This process makes it easy to host any type of event on the platform and then have it automatically made available for playback.  Once the broadcast is taken off the air it takes a very short period of time for it to appear in your channel at YouTube.  It is definitely much faster than uploading the video yourself.

During the lead up to this morning’s historic launch several members of the SpaceX NASASocial group, who were hosted at Kennedy Space Center this past weekend for speakers and a behind the scenes tours, joined a Google+ Hangout to witness the historic launch.

Since the original launch attempt was successfully aborted just prior to liftoff early this past Saturday morning several members of the SpaceX NASASocial could not stay in the area for the second launch attempt.

One of the members of the NASASocial who was able to remain in Florida for the second attempt, @MarkLiederbach, broadcast and hosted a live On Air Google+ Hangout for those remote members of the NASASocial group to join. 

The On Air Google+ Hangout performed nominally and you can view that hangout now on Mark’s YouTube channel. 

Here is the video embedded.

Note: Fast forward to 33 minutes and the launch will be just 30 seconds later.

In what creative ways have you used an On Air Google+ Hangout?