Falcon

Falcon9Launch
Falcon 9 Launch
FalconHeavyLaunch
Falcon Heavy Launch
About SpaceX

SpaceX-Iridium-4-mission-spacex-wiki-200
SpaceX was founded by Elon Musk, who became wealthy as an Internet entrepreneur. A native of South Africa, Musk dropped out of Stanford in 1995 to found Zip2, which was sold in 1999 for $300 million. His second company, PayPal, was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. Early in 2002, Musk assembled a team of people experienced with the space launch industry to study whether it was possible to build a low-cost launch vehicle in a developed country with high labor costs. The results of the study were positive, and so Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) in June 2002. He hired a few dozen managers and engineers from established aerospace companies to build the Falcon launch vehicle. Development has progressed rapidly, with first launch planned in 2004.
Falcon Vehicle Descriptions

Falcon 9

General Description


National Origin

United States

Main Organization


Summary

Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft (a free-flying spacecraft designed to deliver both cargo and people to orbiting destinations) into orbit. Falcon 9 is the first orbital class rocket capable of reflight. Powered by liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene, Falcon 9 was designed from the ground up for maximum reliability. Falcon 9’s simple two-stage configuration minimizes the number of separation events -- and with nine first-stage engines, it can safely complete its mission even in the event of an engine shutdown. Falcon 9 can be flown with a fairing or with a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. All first- and second-stage vehicle systems are the same; only the payload interface to the second stage changes between the fairing and Dragon configurations. Falcon 9 made history in 2012 when it delivered Dragon into the correct orbit for rendezvous with the International Space Station, making SpaceX the first commercial company ever to visit the station. Since then Falcon 9 has made numerous trips to space, delivering satellites to orbit as well as delivering and returning cargo from the space station for NASA. Falcon 9, along with the Dragon spacecraft, was designed from the outset to deliver humans into space and under an agreement with NASA, SpaceX is actively working toward this goal. Falcon 9 was updated in the summer of 2015 to a full thrust configuration from its previous v1.1 configuration (flown from 2013 – summer 2015). Falcon 9 underwent further updates and first flew its full thrust Block 5 configuration in spring 2018. The Falcon 9 Block 5 architecture focused on improving performance, reliability, and life of the vehicle, as well as ensuring the vehicle’s ability to meet critical government crewed and non-crewed missions. Engine performance on both stages was improved, releasing additional thrust capability. Thermal protection shielding was modified to support rapid recovery and refurbishment. Avionics designs, thrust structures, and other components were upgraded for commonality, reliability, and performance.

Flight Rate

Several launches per month. Database included.

Estimated Launch Price

Falcon 9: $62 million plus range and payload specific costs (SpaceX, 2020)


Spaceports

New field for Spaceports Facilities

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FLORIDA
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA


Primary Missions

Medium to heavy payloads to LEO


Status

Operational

Key Organizations

Marketing Organization

Launch Service Provider

Prime Contractor


Performance

   Falcon 9
200 km (108 nmi) at 28.5°

200 km (108 nmi) at 90°

 22,800 kg
Space Station orbit: 407 km (220 nmi), 51.6°
Sun-synchronous orbit: 800 km (432 nmi), 98.6°
 22,800 kg (50,265 lb)
 GTO: 108 ´ 35,786 km (100 nmi ´ 19,323), 27°  8,300 kg (18,300 lb)
 Mars  4,020 kg (8860 lb)
 Pluto  

* Performance represents max capability on fully expendable vehicle



Falcon Heavy

General Description


National Origin

United States

Main Organization


Summary

Falcon Heavy is a two-stage, heavy-lift launch vehicle powered by LOX and RP-1. With more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, it can transport more payload mass into LEO or GTO than any other launch vehicle currently in operation. Falcon Heavy builds on the proven, highly reliable design of Falcon 9 and utilizes the same second stage and the same payload fairing as flown on Falcon 9. SpaceX first launched the Falcon Heavy vehicle in February 2018. Falcon Heavy's first stage is comprised of three cores: a center core and two side boosters (the first stage of Falcon 9 is used as a side booster); each core has nine Merlin 1D (M1D) engines. With nine engines in each first-stage core, Falcon Heavy has propulsion redundancy, unlike any other heavy-lift launch system. The launch vehicle monitors each engine individually during ascent and can, if necessary, preemptively command off-nominal engines, provided the minimum injection success criteria are achievable with the remaining engines. This engine-out reliability provides propulsion redundancy throughout first-stage ascent – a feature unique to Falcon launch vehicles.

Flight Rate

Several launches per month. Database included.

Estimated Launch Price

Falcon Heavy $90 million plus range and payload specific costs (SpaceX, 2020)


Primary Missions

Medium to heavy payloads to LEO


Status

Operational

Key Organizations

Marketing Organization

Launch Service Provider

Prime Contractor


Performance

   Falcon Heavy
200 km (108 nmi) at 28.5°

200 km (108 nmi) at 90°

 63,800 kg
Space Station orbit: 407 km (220 nmi), 51.6°
Sun-synchronous orbit: 800 km (432 nmi), 98.6°
 63,800 kg (140,660 lb)
 GTO: 108 ´ 35,786 km (100 nmi ´ 19,323), 27°  26,700 kg (58,860 lb)
 Mars  16,800 kg (37,040 lb)
 Pluto  3,500 kg

* Performance represents max capability on fully expendable vehicle