SpaceX’s Falcon-1 Briefly Reaches Space

by Fraser Cain on March 22, 2007

Falcon-1 on the launch pad. Credit:Chris Thompson/SpaceXIt wasn’t a perfect launch, but it wasn’t a disaster either. All in all, SpaceX took a big step on Wednesday with the first launch of its new Falcon-1 rocket.

After several delays, the rocket blasted off from the Kwajalein Atoll launch facility in the South Pacific and rose to an altitude of 320km (200 miles). Unfortunately, the rocket didn’t reach its maximum altitude because an unexpected roll caused an automatic engine shutoff.

Falcon-1 is a two stage rocket running liquid oxygen and kerosene. The first stage is designed to be reusable, returning to Earth by parachute. SpaceX’s primary goal is to undercut traditional launch expenses, offering flights as cheaply as $7 million. NASA and several other satellite manufacturers have scheduled flights with the new company founded by Paypal founder Elon Musk.

Original Source: SpaceX Report

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Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

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