Press Release

SpaceX To Launch ATSB’s Razaksat

By SpaceRef Editor
March 30, 2009
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Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces that the launch window for ATSB’s RazakSAT on Falcon 1 Flight 5, is currently scheduled to open Monday, April 20th at 4:00 p.m. (PDT) / 7:00 p.m. (EDT).

SpaceX’s Falcon 1 launch site is located approximately 2500 miles southwest of Hawaii on Omelek Island, part of the Reagan Test Site (RTS) at United States Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) in the Central Pacific. Due to the location of the launch site, the Kwajalein local date at the opening of the launch window will be April 21st.

RazakSAT was designed and built by Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd (ATSB), a pioneer and leader in the design and manufacture of satellites in Malaysia. The satellite will be launched aboard the Falcon 1, a two-stage, liquid oxygen/rocket-grade kerosene vehicle, designed from the ground up by SpaceX.

Falcon 1 will place RazakSAT, equipped with a high resolution Medium-Sized Aperture Camera (MAC), into a near equatorial orbit. The payload is expected to provide high resolution images of Malaysia that can be applied to land management, resource development and conservation, forestry and fish migration.

SpaceX will provide live coverage of the Falcon 1 Flight 5/RazakSAT mission via webcast at: www.SpaceX.com. The webcast will begin 20 minutes prior to launch and will include mission briefings, live feeds and launch coverage from the launch site. Post-launch, video footage and photos will be available for download on the Web site.

About SpaceX

SpaceX is revolutionizing access to space with a family of launch vehicles and spacecraft designed to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of both manned and unmanned space transportation, ultimately by a factor of ten. With its Falcon line of launch vehicles, powered by internally-developed Merlin engines, SpaceX offers light, medium and heavy lift capabilities to deliver spacecraft into any altitude and inclination, from low-Earth orbit to geosynchronous to planetary missions. On September 28, 2008, Falcon 1, designed and manufactured from the ground up by SpaceX, became the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth, demonstrating that through simplicity, both reliability and low cost can be achieved in commercial spaceflight.

As a winner of the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services competition (COTS), SpaceX will conduct three flights of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, culminating in Dragon berthing with the ISS. SpaceX is the only COTS contender that has the capability to return cargo and crew to Earth. NASA also has an option to demonstrate crew services to the International Space Station (ISS) using the Falcon 9 / Dragon system.

In addition, NASA recently selected the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft for the ISS Cargo Resupply Services (CRS) contract award. The contract includes 12 flights between 2010 and 2015 and represents a guaranteed minimum of 20,000 kg to be carried to the ISS.

Founded in 2002, the SpaceX team now numbers more than 620 full time employees, primarily located in Hawthorne, California, with additional locations in Texas, at SpaceX’s Test Facility in McGregor near Waco; offices in Washington DC; and launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the Marshall Islands in the Central Pacific.

SpaceRef staff editor.