Press Release

“Media Advisory: SpaceX to Announce Liftoff Time of the Falcon 1 Rocket: The World’s Lowest Cost Rocket to Orbit

By SpaceRef Editor
November 17, 2005
Filed under , ,
“Media Advisory: SpaceX to Announce Liftoff Time of the Falcon 1 Rocket: The World’s Lowest Cost Rocket to Orbit

SpaceX to Announce Liftoff Time of the Falcon 1 Rocket: The World’s Lowest Cost Rocket to Orbit

Who: SpaceX Founder and CEO Elon Musk will announce the T-Zero liftoff time of the historic maiden flight of Falcon 1 at a pre-launch press conference tomorrow afternoon. Please note this will be the last time Mr. Musk will be available to the media before launch due to his travel to Kwajalein for the launch. Following the press conference, interested media will also have the opportunity to tour the SpaceX facilities.

SpaceX is the third company founded by Elon Musk. Previously he co-founded PayPal, the world’s leading electronic payment system, which sold to online auction giant eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. In 1995, Mr. Musk co-founded Zip2, which sold to Compaq Computer Corporation for more than $300 million.

When: Friday, November 18, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. (PDT). Media should arrive by 1:30 p.m. (PDT).

Where: SpaceX Headquarters in El Segundo, CA – five minutes south of the Los Angeles International Airport.

1310 East Grand Ave
El Segundo, CA 90245

Background: Designed from the ground up by SpaceX, Falcon 1 is an unmanned, two stage rocket powered by liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1). On launch day, Falcon 1 will make history for several reasons:

  • It will be the first privately developed liquid-fueled rocket to reach orbit and the world’s first all new orbital rocket in over a decade.
  • The main engine of Falcon 1 (Merlin) will be the first all new American hydrocarbon booster engine to be flown in forty years and only the second new American booster engine of any kind in twenty-five years.
  • The Falcon 1 is the only rocket flying 21s century avionics, which require a small fraction of the power and mass of other systems.
  • It will be the world s only semi-reusable orbital rocket apart from the Shuttle (all other launch vehicles are completely expendable). When the Shuttle stops flying in 2010, Falcon 1 will be the only semi-reusable launch vehicle.
  • Most importantly, Falcon 1, priced at $6.7 million, will provide the lowest cost per flight to orbit of any launch vehicle in the world. Though low cost, Falcon 1 has received a design reliability rating equivalent to that of the best launch vehicles currently flying in the United States.

The maiden flight of Falcon 1 will take place from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands (Kwajalein Atoll). The customer for this mission is DARPA and the Air Force and the payload will be FalconSat-2, part of the Air Force Academy’s satellite program that will measure space plasma phenomena, which can adversely affect space-based communications, including GPS and other civil and military communications. The target orbit is 400 km X 500 km (just above the International Space Station) at an inclination of 39 degrees.

To attend: Please contact SpaceX at 310-414-6555 ext 283, or Please provide name, affiliation, citizenship and date of birth.

Media not present may listen and ask questions through a moderated telephone conference line. The toll free conference dial-in number is (866) 209-6438. The international access dial-in number is (865) 297-1127. Please contact SpaceX for the participant code to join the press conference.

Details on attending a media viewing of the maiden flight on launch day will be released tomorrow following the press conference announcement.

Dianne Molina, SpaceX
Direct 310.414.6555 ext 283
Fax 310.414.6552

SpaceRef staff editor.