Falcon 1 Launched Into Space

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SpaceX launched its second Falcon 1 today at 9:10 pm EDT.

The rocket's first stage performed nominally. However, a few minutes into second stage operation telemetry was lost.

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Launch Video (SpaceX)

According to SpaceX President Elon Musk: "This was a very good day for SpaceX. We succesfuly reached space - and we retired almost all the risk associated with the rocket. I feel very good about having sucessful launches later this year. Our customers are excited with the results of this test. We were concerned about first stage igition and lift off and trajectory of the first stage. That went flawlessley. We had zero anomalies on the first stage. Stage separation went very well. Fairing separation wet flawlessly. Second stage ignition was perfect. We achieved steady state burn on the second stage. There was a roll control anomaly late in second stage burn. We feel pretty good about this launch. This was a test launch - but I think it was a pretty good test."

When asked to speculate on the fate of the second stage and its payload Musk said "it is premature [right now] to say anything. We did not achieve the desired orbit. I do not know the fate of the second stage. We got to 300 kilometers. It is not in the intended orbit. The likehood is that it re-entered after half an orbit. That is all I know right now. We retired 90% of the risk associated with the rocket. This was a test launch - not a satellitel launch."


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