13 July 2009
Announcements - Vehicles (Good)
Falcon's Successful Fifth Launch
Taking a satellite along for the ride
by Alan Breakstone
The successful launching of a SpaceX Falcon 1 into orbit with a paying customer's payload (a RazakSAT satellite, specifically) shows that the fledgling New Space company is no fluke. It is here to stay.

This happened on the heels of SpaceX's successful fourth launch, where Falcon 1 successfully achieved Earth orbit.

The July 13 launch from the company's Pacific Ocean launch site on the Kwajalein Atoll puts SpaceX a giant step closer to launching its habitable Dragon space capsule.

The Dragon and its Falcon 9 launch vehicle (a scaled-up version of the now-operational Falcon 1) are being completed at the company's California factory.

The growing success of SpaceX puts more credibility in New Space. Dragon can eventually launch millionaire space tourists for potentially less money than the venerable Soyuz -- and without extensive need of a national government space agency.
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Alan Breakstone 13 July 2009
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