SpaceX Falcon 9 achieves orbit on maiden flight

SpaceX Falcon 9 on its launch pad

Falcon 9 on its Cape Canaveral, Florida, launch pad

Good reportage from The Register on the huge success of Elon Musk’s maiden launch. First launches of rockets have a poor success rate (for obvious engineering reasons).

(…) The SpaceX Falcon 9 launched on its maiden flight on Friday at 11:45pm Pacific Daylight Time, 15 minutes short of the end of its four-hour launch window.…

Shortly afterward, The Reg received a SpaceX email that quoted founder Elon Musk as saying: “Nominal shutdown and orbit was almost exactly 250km. Telemetry showed essentially a bullseye: ~0.2% on perigee and ~1% on apogee.”

Bullseye, indeed. Musk had earlier said that merely achieving orbit on the Falcon 9′s first flight would be “100 per cent success” — and his two-stage, 54.9m (180ft), liquid oxygen and RP-1–fueled rocket’s payload, what Musk described as “structural test article of ourDragon spacecraft,” is at this moment zipping merrily about the globe, enjoying that success.

And success on a maiden voyage is unusual. According to a BBC report on the Falcon’s feat, two-third of rockets introduced in the past 20 years have had unsuccessful first flights.

(…)

Big congratulations to the whole SpaceX team. Please continue reading The Register coverage.

What do you think? (first time comments are moderated)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s