Falcon-1 is a small liquid fueled orbital launch vehicle, which was developed by SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp.). Both stages are Kerosene / LOX fueled.
The first stage, which will be reusable after recovery by parachutes, is powered by the SpaceX built Merlin engine. The second stage is be propelled by the Kestrel engine, which uses technology derived from the of the Lunar Module Descent Engine.
Launch sites are SLC-3W at Vandenberg for high inclination launches and a launch site on Omelek Island in the Marshall Islands. A Cape Canaveral launch pad is also considered for launching into low inclination orbits.
The basic Falcon-1 vehicle carries up to 420 kg payloads to low equatorial earth orbit. SpaceX claims, the Falcon will reduce the costs for an orbital launch by the factor of three - a price of $ 6.7 million for the basic version is planned.
The operational Falcon-1 uses the regeneratively cooled Merlin-1C engine beginning with the third Falcon flight in mid 2008 in contrast to the ablatively cooled Merlin-1A of the Falcon-1 development version.
|Version||Stage 1||Stage 2|
|Falcon-1||Stage 1 / Merlin-1C||Stage 2 / Kestrel-2|
No. TypNo Type Date LS Payload
3 1 Falcon-1 03.08.2008 F Om Trailblazer / PreSat / Nanosail D / Celestis 07 4 2 Falcon-1 29.09.2008 Om Ratsat 5 3 Falcon-1 14.07.2009 Om RazakSat 1 Failures: 3: Stage separation failure Launch sites: Om = Omelek Island, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands Va = Vandenberg AFB, California, USA / SLC-3W