El Segundo, CA – November 18, 2005 – On Friday, November 25 at 1 p.m. (PST), the Falcon 1 countdown to launch is expected to reach T-Zero. At that point, the hold-down clamps will release and the Falcon 1 rocket will begin its journey to orbit, accelerating to 17,000 mph (twenty-five times the speed of sound) in less than ten minutes.
Designed from the ground up by SpaceX, Falcon 1 is a two stage rocket powered by liquid oxygen and purified, rocket grade kerosene. On launch day, Falcon 1 will make history for several reasons:
The maiden flight will take place from the Kwajalein Atoll of the Marshall Islands. The customer for this mission is DARPA and the Air Force and the payload will be FalconSat-2, part of the Air Force Academy’s satellite program that will measure space plasma phenomena, which can adversely affect space-based communications, including GPS and other civil and military communications. The target orbit is 400 km X 500 km (just above the International Space Station) at an inclination of 39 degrees.
SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of access to space by a factor of ten. SpaceX is the third company founded by Elon Musk. Previously he co-founded PayPal, the world's leading electronic payment system, which was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. In 1995, Mr. Musk co-founded Zip2, which sold to Compaq Computer Corporation for more than $300 million.
Launch Viewing for Media on Friday, November 25, 2005
The live feed of this historic launch will be available to the media at SpaceX Headquarters in El Segundo, CA – five minutes south of Los Angeles International Airport. Media check-in will begin at 12:00 p.m. PST on launch day. The launch window is 1 – 5 p.m. (PST). Food and beverages will be made available.
To attend the launch viewing event, media must contact SpaceX at 310-414-6555 ext 283 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide full name, affiliation, citizenship and date of birth. Media not able to attend may listen and ask questions through a moderated telephone conference line. The toll free conference dial-in number is (866) 209-6438. The international access dial-in number is (865) 297-1127. Please contact SpaceX for the participant code to join the media viewing event.
Still photos and videos of the launch will be made available on www.spacex.com within a couple of hours of the launch.