Encyclopedia Astronautica
SpaceX


American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. SpaceX, USA.

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Dragon American manned spacecraft. Commercial space capsule developed by SpaceX as a shuttle to take cargo and crews to the International Space Station and the Bigelow Commercial Station from 2011 on. First launched in 2010. More...

Associated Engines
  • Kestrel SpaceX Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 30.7 kN. Upper stages. Hardware. Isp=320s. Pintle architecture, designed to be a high efficiency, low pressure vacuum engine. Fed only by tank pressure, ablatively cooled First flight 2006. More...
  • Merlin 1A SpaceX Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 378.040 kN. First stages. Hardware. Isp=300s. Completed development in early 2005. Pintle injector concept. Replaced by Merlin 1C. First flight 2006. More...
  • Merlin 1C SpaceX Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 614.7 kN. First stages. Hardware. Isp=304s. Regeneratively cooled; turbo-pump also provided high pressure kerosene for the hydraulic actuators. Actuated turbine exhaust nozzle provided roll control. First flight 2008. More...
  • Merlin 1V SpaceX Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 411.4 kN. Hardware. Isp=342s. Upper stage version of the Merlin developed for the Falcon 9 second stage. Based on the Merlin 1C and using a regeneratively cooled combustion chamber. First flight 2009. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Falcon 1e Version of Falcon 1 with stretched first stage and much more powerful Merlin engine. More...
  • Falcon 5 American low cost orbital launch vehicle. Falcon V was a two stage, reusable, liquid oxygen and kerosene powered launch vehicle. The maiden flight was targeted for mid-2005 as of early 2004. It used of the same engines, structural materials and concepts, and avionics and launch system as the Falcon I, differing in having five first-stage engines instead of 1 and a larger diameter. This meant that all the critical components would have a flight proven history even before first launch. By 2006 it had been superseded by the slightly larger Falcon 9. More...
  • Falcon 1 American low cost orbital launch vehicle. Falcon I was a two stage, reusable, liquid oxygen and kerosene powered launch vehicle. A single engine powered the first stage. It was designed for cost-efficient and reliable transport of satellites to low Earth orbit. First launch of the Falcon I was scheduled for mid-2004 from Vandenberg, carrying a US Defense Department communications satellite. Development delays and problems with USAF clearances for launch from Vandenberg resulted in the first launch attempt being made in 2006 from a private facility at Omelek near Kwajalein atoll in the Pacific. Success was achieved on the fourth launch in 2008. The Falcon 1 was to be superseded by the Falcon 1e, with an extended-tank first stage, from 2010. More...
  • Falcon 1 American low cost orbital launch vehicle. Falcon I was a two stage, reusable, liquid oxygen and kerosene powered launch vehicle. A single engine powered the first stage. It was designed for cost-efficient and reliable transport of satellites to low Earth orbit. First launch of the Falcon I was scheduled for mid-2004 from Vandenberg, carrying a US Defense Department communications satellite. Development delays and problems with USAF clearances for launch from Vandenberg resulted in the first launch attempt being made in 2006 from a private facility at Omelek near Kwajalein atoll in the Pacific. Success was achieved on the fourth launch in 2008. The Falcon 1 was to be superseded by the Falcon 1e, with an extended-tank first stage, from 2010. More...
  • Falcon 9 American low cost orbital launch vehicle. In September 2006 SpaceX was named as one of two winners of the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services competition. The SpaceX award was $278 million for three flight demonstrations of the Falcon 9 booster carrying the Dragon space capsule. On 23 December 2008 NASA announced that the Falcon 9 / Dragon had been selected for launch of a guaranteed minimum of 20,000 kg of payload to the International Space Station in 2010-2014. The firm contract was worth $1.6 billion, with another $1.5 billion of options. More...
  • Falcon 9 Heavy American low cost orbital launch vehicle. The Falcon 9 Heavy would consist of a standard Falcon 9 with two additional Falcon 9 first stages as liquid strap-on boosters. More...

Associated Stages
  • Falcon 1-1 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 22,993/1,505 kg. Thrust 369.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 300 seconds. More...
  • Falcon 1e-1 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 42,168/2,712 kg. Thrust 615.50 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 304 seconds. More...

SpaceX Chronology


2008 August 3 - . 03:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Complex: Kwajalein OM. LV Family: Falcon. Launch Vehicle: Falcon 1. FAILURE: The new Merlin 1C first stage engine completed its burn, but the thrust took longer to decay than expected. It was still thrusting when stage 2 tried to separate, and the two stages collided, setting the second stage tumbling..
2008 September 28 - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Complex: Kwajalein OM. LV Family: Falcon. Launch Vehicle: Falcon 1.
  • Ratsat - . Nation: USA. Agency: SpaceX. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 33393 . COSPAR: 2008-048A. Apogee: 643 km (399 mi). Perigee: 622 km (386 mi). Inclination: 9.3000 deg. Period: 97.40 min. Summary: First successful launch of low-cost Falcon launch vehicle. The second stage demonstrated restart. The payload was a dummy mass which remained attached to the stage..

2009 July 14 - . 03:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Complex: Kwajalein OM. LV Family: Falcon. Launch Vehicle: Falcon 1. LV Configuration: Falcon 1 s/n F1-5.
  • Razaksat - . Mass: 180 kg (390 lb). Nation: Malaysia. Agency: SpaceX. Spacecraft: Satrec. USAF Sat Cat: 35578 . COSPAR: 2009-037A. Apogee: 690 km (420 mi). Perigee: 665 km (413 mi). Inclination: 9.0000 deg. Period: 98.30 min. Summary: Malaysian imaging satellite..

2010 June 4 - . 18:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. Launch Pad: SLC40. LV Family: Falcon. Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9. LV Configuration: Falcon 9 s/n F9-1.
  • Dragon/Falcon 9 - . Mass: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: SpaceX. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft: Dragon. Decay Date: 2010-06-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 36595 . COSPAR: 2010-026A. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi). Perigee: 138 km (85 mi). Inclination: 34.5000 deg. Period: 87.30 min. Summary: First launch of the commercial Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Structural model of Dragon reusable spacecraft. Remained attached to final stage..

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