Falcon 9 is a family of launch vehicles that are built by SpaceX. It is named for its use of nine rocket engines. It is powered by liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1). The current version can launch payloads of up to 22,800 kilograms (50,300 pounds) to Low Earth orbit. It can launch up to 8,300 kilograms (18,300 pounds) to Geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). In theory, it can also launch 4,020 kilograms (8,860 pounds) to Mars.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force SLC-4E with the eighth and final set of Iridium NEXT satellites (January 2019).
|Function||Orbital launch vehicle|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Cost per launch|
|Diameter||3.7 m (12 ft)|
|Payload to LEO (28.5°)|
|Payload to GTO (27°)|
|Payload to Mars||FT: 4,020 kg (8,860 lb)|
|Failures||1 (v1.1: CRS-7)|
|Partial failures||1 (v1.0: CRS-1)|
|Other||1 (FT: Amos-6)|
|Landings||34 / 40 attempts|
|Fuel||LOX / RP-1|
|Fuel||LOX / RP-1|
NASA gave SpaceX a Commercial Resupply Services contract to launch Falcon 9s with Dragon capsules to the ISS. Now SpaceX is trying to human-rate the Falcon 9 so that SpaceX can launch crews to the ISS in this year. The first version of the Falcon 9 flew in 4 June 2010. The latest version, Block 5, was introduced in 15 May 2018 with increased engine power and other changes to help recovery and reuse.
- "Air Force requirements will keep SpaceX from landing Falcon 9 booster after GPS launch – Spaceflight Now".
- Seemangal, Robin (May 4, 2018). "SpaceX Test-Fires New Falcon 9 Block 5 Rocket Ahead of Maiden Flight (Updated)". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
- de Selding, Peter B. (2012-10-15). "Orbcomm Craft Launched by Falcon 9 Falls out of Orbit". Space News. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
Orbcomm requested that SpaceX carry one of their small satellites (weighing a few hundred pounds, vs. Dragon at over 12,000 pounds)... The higher the orbit, the more test data [Orbcomm] can gather, so they requested that we attempt to restart and raise altitude. NASA agreed to allow that, but only on condition that there be substantial propellant reserves, since the orbit would be close to the space station. It is important to appreciate that Orbcomm understood from the beginning that the orbit-raising maneuver was tentative. They accepted that there was a high risk of their satellite remaining at the Dragon insertion orbit. SpaceX would not have agreed to fly their satellite otherwise, since this was not part of the core mission and there was a known, material risk of no altitude raise.
- Graham, William (21 December 2015). "SpaceX returns to flight with OG2, nails historic core return". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
The launch also marked the first flight of the Falcon 9 Full Thrust, internally known only as the "Upgraded Falcon 9"
- Graham, Will. "SpaceX successfully launches debut Falcon 9 v1.1". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- "Falcon 9". SpaceX. 2012-11-16. Archived from the original on May 1, 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- "Falcon 9 | SpaceX". Retrieved 2019-05-15.
- Amos, Jonathan (8 October 2012). "SpaceX lifts off with ISS cargo". BBC News. Retrieved 3 June 2018.