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  • Lucky Number Four - SpaceX Makes it to Orbit
    Posted by Graham Warwick 2:21 PM on Sep 29, 2008

    Hats off to Elon Musk for not quitting after three launch failures in a row, because SpaceX's first privately developed launch vehicle, the Falcon 1, finally made it into orbit on September 28. You can watch video of the launch on SpaceX's website.

    Launched from Omelek Island on Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific, Flight 4 achieved an elliptical orbit of 500 km. by 700 km., at 9.2deg inclination - "exactly as targeted", says SpaceX. "The data shows we achieved a super-precise orbit insertion...and went on to coast and restart the second stage," Musk says in a statement.

    Because of the three previous failures, the payload for Flight 4 was not a paying customer, but a mass simulator, which stayed attached to the second stage. SpaceX's next mission is manifested as the Falcon 1 launch from Kwajalein of a small satellite for Malaysia's ATSB. This is planned to be followed by the first launch of the company's larger Falcon 9, from Cape Canaveral.

    Tags: os99, SpaceX, Falcon

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