SPACEX’s FALCON 9 SUCCESSFULLY REACHES
LOW EARTH ORBIT
The Heinlein Prize Trust Congratulates SpaceX
June 4, 2010. A partner of The Heinlein Prize Trust on events such as the Microgravity Research Competition, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) successfully launched and orbited the Falcon 9 spacecraft.The Heinlein Prize Trust offers its congratulations on this achievement. Said SpaceX of the accomplishment, “This has been a great day for SpaceX and a promising step forward for the US space program, as we make progress towards expanding the human presence in space.”
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said of Friday’s launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, “Congratulations to Space X on today’s launch of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Space X’s accomplishment is an important milestone in the commercial transportation effort and puts the company a step closer to providing cargo services to the International Space Station.”
The Falcon launch vehicle family is designed to provide breakthrough advances in reliability, cost, flight environment and time to launch. Falcon 1, designed and manufactured by SpaceX, lifted off Monday, July 13, 2009, from the Reagan Test Site (RTS) on Omelek Island at the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. Like Falcon 1, Falcon 9 is a two stage, liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) powered launch vehicle. It uses the same engines, structural architecture (with a wider diameter), avionics and launch system. The Falcon 9 lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, Friday, June 4, at 2:45 p.m. EDT.
For more information about the Falcon 9 visit the SpaceX website at www.spacex.com.
SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles and spacecraft intended to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of both manned and unmanned space transportation, ultimately by a factor of ten. With the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 vehicles, SpaceX offers highly reliable/cost-efficient launch capabilities for spacecraft insertion into any orbital altitude and inclination. Starting in 2010, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will provide Earth-to-LEO transport of pressurized and unpressurized cargo, including resupply to the International Space Station (ISS).
Founded in 2002, SpaceX is a private company owned by management and employees, with minority investments from Founders Fund and DFJ. The SpaceX team now numbers nearly 800, with corporate headquarters in Hawthorne, California. For more information, please visit the company’s web site at www.spacex.com.
Photo Caption: Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, and Art Dula, Trustee of The Heinlein Prize Trust, photo from Microgravity Research Competition