21 March 2007
Announcements - Vehicles (None)
SpaceX's Bittersweet Success
Falcon 1 reaches space, but not orbit
by Carol Pinchefsky
The delayed second test flight of SpaceX's Falcon 1 took place on Tuesday March 20th to bittersweet success: although the rocket reached space and achieved a number of benchmarks, including stage separation and a second-stage ignition, it ultimately did not achieve orbital velocity. After a smooth first-stage ascent, a roll instability developed in the second stage, and further contact with the rocket was lost.

CEO Elon Musk is undaunted and optimistic about future flights and looks to SpaceX's accomplishments. According to an update to SpaceX's Web site, Musk said, "The second stage didn't achieve full orbital velocity, due to a roll excitation late in the burn, but that should be a comparatively easy fix once we examine the flight data....All in all, this test has flight proven 95+ percent of the Falcon 1 systems, which bodes really well for our upcoming flights of Falcon 1 and [larger] Falcon 9, which uses similar hardware."
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Carol Pinchefsky 21 March 2007
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