Posted: Monday, November 24, 2003
WHAT: Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX)'s official unveiling ceremony for the new Falcon orbital launch vehicle. SpaceX will bring the entire seven-story high spacecraft and its mobile launch system to the nation's Capitol as part of the hundred-year anniversary of manned flight.
WHO: SpaceX founder CEO Elon Musk and others
WHEN: Thursday, December 4, 2003
- Unveiling ceremony at 8:00 EST
- Reception begins at 7:00 EST
WHERE: Unveiling ceremony on Independence Avenue followed by Reception: The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, on the Mall, Washington, DC
WHAT ELSE: The Falcon rocket is notable for being:
-- The first rocket with substantial reusability developed since the Space Shuttle launched over two decades ago. Once the Shuttle retires, it will be the world's only reusable rocket.
-- A major breakthrough in the cost of access to space, with a price per flight to orbit over four times lower than its nearest American competitor.
-- Designed from a "clean sheet" for reliable space transportation, compared to most existing launch vehicles, which have a comparatively low-reliability heritage as weapons systems.
First launch is expected to occur in early 2004 from the SpaceX launch complex at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The payload is a Department of Defense tactical communications & observation satellite called TacSat-1.
CONTACT: Frank Sietzen 703 685 7090, Email: Frank.Sietzen@spacex.com
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of access to space by a factor of ten. Falcon, a two stage, liquid-fueled orbital launch vehicle, is the company's first product. The entire vehicle, including main and upper stage engines, primary structure, avionics and guidance control, is being developed internally at SpaceX.
Located in El Segundo, California, the company was founded by CEO Elon Musk in June 2002. SpaceX is the third company founded by Mr. Musk. Previously he co-founded and was the largest shareholder of PayPal, the world's leading electronic payment system, which sold to online auction giant eBay(TM) for $1.5 billion in 2002. More information about SpaceX can be found at http://www.SpaceX.com.
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