Successful Launch Of Falcon 9 Rocket
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June 4, 2010: The California-based company SpaceX, (short for Space Exploration Technologies Corporation), successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 is an upgrade of the company's previous Falcon 1 single-stage earth-to-orbit rocket, which utilized new software, automation and manufacturing techniques to greatly reduce the cost of reaching orbit. The Falcon 1 successfully reached orbit in 2008 and in 2009 launched a Malaysian satellite into orbit.

The Falcon 9 utilizes Falcon 1 rockets in a nine-booster configuration to lift larger payloads and is part of SpaceX's long range goal to re-open space exploration. In 2008, NASA awarded SpaceX a $278 million contract to use the Falcon 9 to resupply the International Space Station.

On top of the Falcon 9 booster was a version of the Dragon spacecraft, a capsule designed by SpaceX to carry cargo and crew. As designed, the Dragon can carry seven crew members, three more than are carried by the Soyuz, and for a fraction of the cost of a NASA flight.

Update: On December 8, 2010 SpaceX performed a successful test launch of the Dragon, successfully orbiting the capsule and then recovering it after a safe splashdown in the Indian Ocean.


Game and Story Use

  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future, rockets like the Falcon 9 might be used for scientific research, commerce, and perhaps ever space tourism.
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