Monday, September 29, 2008

SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon 1 to Orbit

SpaceX Logo

Post Launch Statement

Wow, this is a great day for SpaceX and the culmination of an enormous amount of work by a great team. The data shows we achieved a super precise orbit insertion — middle of the bullseye — and then went on to coast and restart the second stage, which was icing on the cake.

I will have a more complete post launch statement tomorrow, as right now I'm in a bit of a daze and need to go celebrate :)


A. Launch of the Falcon 1 Flight 4 vehicle from Omelek Island, in the Kwajalein Atoll, 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. Liftoff occurred Sunday 28 September 2008, at 4:15 PM (PDT), 23:15 (UTC).

B. The critical stage separation sequence began about 2 minutes and 37 seconds into flight with shutdown of the Merlin first stage engine, then separation of the first and second stages, followed by ignition of the Kestrel second stage engine.

C. A few seconds after second stage ignition, the fairing (nose cone) that covers the payload section separates from the vehicle and falls to Earth.

D. About nine and a half minutes after launch, the second stage engine shuts down, and the Falcon 1 becomes the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth.

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