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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Final Update on SpaceX Falcon 1 Launch

So here is the analysis from SpaceX:

The following technology risks were proved out:
- 1st stage ascent past max dynamic pressure
- avionics operation in vacuum and under radiation
- stage separation
- 2nd stage ignition
- fairing separation
- 2nd stage nozzle/chamber at steady state temp in vacuum

Also the Falcon made it to approximately 200 miles, 50 miles below the International Space Station. Due to the as yet unexplained roll in the second stage, it did not achieve full orbital velocity.

SpaceX believes the flight demonstrated 95% of the Falcon 1 systems, which are reused in the Falcon 9 being developed for larger launches and NASA's COTS program.

SpaceX has two more launches of the Falcon 1 scheduled for 2007. A US military satellite and a Malaysian satellite are set for this summer and fall. Pricing for the Falcon 1 is set at $7 million, which is a 1/10th the cost of the nearest competitor.


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