Falcon 1

Expendable launch system by SpaceX / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Falcon 1 was a small-lift launch vehicle that was operated from 2006 to 2009[5] by SpaceX, an American aerospace manufacturer. On 28 September 2008, Falcon 1 became the first privately-developed fully liquid-fueled launch vehicle to go into orbit around the Earth.[6][7]:203

Quick facts: Function, Manufacturer, Country of origin, Pr...
Falcon 1
Falcon 1 rocket
FunctionOrbital launch vehicle
Country of originUnited States
Project costUS$90 million
Cost per launchUS$7 million
Height21 m (69 ft)
Diameter1.7 m (5.6 ft)
Mass28 t (62,000 lb)
Payload to LEO
Orbital inclination9.0 - 9.35°
  • Demonstrated (667 km orbit): 180 kg (400 lb)
  • Proposed (185 km orbit): 670 kg (1,480 lb)[1][2]
Payload to SSO
Mass200 kg (440 lb)[3]
Launch history
Launch sitesOmelek Island
Total launches5
Partial failure(s)0
First flight24 March 2006
22:30 GMT
Last flight14 July 2009
03:35 GMT
First stage
Powered by1 Merlin 1A (first 2 flights)
1 Merlin 1C (final 3 flights)
Maximum thrust450 kN (100,000 lbf)
Specific impulse255 s (2.50 km/s) (sea level)
Burn time169 s
Second stage
Powered by1 Kestrel
Maximum thrust31 kN (7,000 lbf)
Specific impulse327 s (3.21 km/s)
Burn time378 s

The two-stage-to-orbit rocket used LOX/RP-1 for both stages, the first powered by a single Merlin engine and the second powered by a single Kestrel engine. It was designed by SpaceX from the ground up.

The vehicle was launched a total of five times. After three failed launch attempts, Falcon 1 achieved orbit on its fourth attempt in September 2008 with a mass simulator as a payload. On 14 July 2009, Falcon 1 made its second successful flight, delivering the Malaysian RazakSAT satellite to orbit on SpaceX's first commercial launch (fifth and final launch overall). Following this flight, the Falcon 1 was retired and succeeded by Falcon 9.

SpaceX had announced an enhanced variant, the Falcon 1e,[4] but development was stopped in favor of Falcon 9.