A Falcon 9 v1.0 launches with an uncrewed Dragon spacecraft
|Function||Orbital launch vehicle|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Cost per launch (2013)||Normal:|
|Height||54.3 m (178 ft)|
|Diameter||3.66 m (12.0 ft)|
|Mass||333,400 kg (735,000 lb)|
|Payload to LEO||6,622 kg (14,600 lb) - 10,454 kg (23,050 lb)|
|2,348 kg (5,180 lb) - 7,002 kg (15,440 lb)|
|Launch sites||Cape Canaveral SLC-40
|First flight||June 4, 2010|
|Engines||9 Merlin 1C|
|Thrust||5,000 kN (1,100,000 lbf)(sl)|
|Specific impulse||Sea level: 255 sec (2.6 kN/kg)
Vacuum: 304 sec (3.0 kN/kg)
|Burn time||170 seconds|
|Engines||1 Merlin Vacuum|
|Thrust||445 kN (100,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||Vacuum: 342 sec (3.35 kN/kg)|
|Burn time||345 seconds|
Both stages of this two-stage-to-orbit vehicle use liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) propellants. The Falcon 9 can lift payloads of 13,150 kilograms (29,000 lb) to low Earth orbit, and 4,850 kilograms (10,700 lb) to geostationary transfer orbit, which places the Falcon 9 design in the medium-lift range of launch systems.
The Falcon 9 and Dragon combination won a Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract from NASA to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. The first commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station launched on October 7, 2012. Falcon 9 will also be human-rated for transporting astronauts under NASA's CCDev program.
First stage 
The Falcon 9 v1.0 first stage was used on the first five Falcon 9 launches, and powered by nine SpaceX Merlin 1C rocket engines arranged in a "tic-tac-toe" pattern. Each of these engines have a sea-level thrust of 556 kN (125,000 lbf) for a total thrust on liftoff of about 5.0 MN (1.1 million lbf).
A reusable first stage is under development for the Reusable Falcon 9 launch vehicle, with initial atmospheric testing being conducted on the Grasshopper experimental technology-demonstrator reusable launch vehicle (RLV).
Second stage 
The upper stage is powered by a single Merlin engine modified for vacuum operation, with an expansion ratio of 117:1 and a nominal burn time of 345 seconds. For added reliability of restart, the engine has dual redundant pyrophoric igniters (TEA-TEB).
The interstage, which connects the upper and lower stage for Falcon 9, is a carbon fiber aluminum core composite structure. Reusable separation collets and a pneumatic pusher system separate the stages. The Falcon 9 tank walls and domes are made from aluminum lithium alloy. SpaceX uses an all-friction stir welded tank, the highest strength and most reliable welding technique available. The second stage tank of Falcon 9 is simply a shorter version of the first stage tank and uses most of the same tooling, material and manufacturing techniques. This saves money during vehicle production.
Four Draco thrusters are used on the Falcon 9 second-stage as a reaction control system. The thrusters are used to hold a stable attitude for payload separation or, as a non-standard service, can be used to spin up the stage and payload to a maximum of 5 rotations per minute (RPM).
Early on, SpaceX expressed hopes that both stages would eventually be reusable, and in 2011 SpaceX began a formal and funded development program for a reusable Falcon 9 second stage, with the early program focus however on return of the first stage.
SpaceX uses multiple redundant flight computers. Each Merlin engine is controlled by three voting computers (each composed of two physical processors constantly checking each-other) to instantiate a fault-tolerant design. For flexibility, commercial off-the-shelf parts and system-wide "radiation-tolerant" design are used instead of rad-hardened parts. The software runs on Linux and was written in C++.
Development and production 
|Function||Orbital launch vehicle|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Height||69.2 m (227 ft)|
|Payload to LEO||13,150 kg (29,000 lb)|
|4,850 kg (10,700 lb)|
|Engines||9 Merlin 1D|
|Engines||1 Merlin Vacuum|
While SpaceX's previous launcher, the Falcon-1, was developed exclusively using private funding, the development of the Falcon-9 was significantly accelerated by the purchase of several demonstration flights by NASA. This started with seed money from the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program in 2006. Musk is quoted as stating that if NASA funding had not been available to develop the Falcon-9, the vehicle would have been developed with private funding, but at a slower pace.
Production and testing history 
The original NASA COTS contract called for the first demonstration flight of Falcon in September 2008, and completion of all three demonstration missions by September 2009. In February 2008, the plan for the first Falcon 9/Dragon COTS Demo flight was delayed by six months to late in the first quarter of 2009. According to Elon Musk, the complexity of the development work and the regulatory requirements for launching from Cape Canaveral contributed to the delay.
The first multi-engine test (with two engines connected to the first stage, firing simultaneously) was successfully completed in January 2008, with successive tests leading to the full Falcon 9 complement of nine engines test fired for a full mission length (178 seconds) of the first stage on November 22, 2008. In October 2009, the first flight-ready first stage had a successful all-engine test fire at the company's test stand in McGregor, TX. In November 2009 Space X conducted the initial second stage test firing lasting forty seconds. This test succeeded without aborts or recycles. On January 2, 2010, a full-duration (329 seconds) orbit-insertion firing of the Falcon 9 second stage was conducted at the McGregor test site The full stack arrived at the launch site for integration at the beginning of February 2010, and SpaceX initially scheduled a launch date of March 22, 2010, though they estimated anywhere between one and three months for integration and testing.
On February 25, 2010, SpaceX's first flight stack was set vertical at Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral, and on March 9, SpaceX performed a static fire test, where the first stage was to be fired without taking off. The test aborted at T-2 seconds due to a failure in the system designed to pump high-pressure helium from the launch pad into the first stage turbopumps, which would get them spinning in preparation for launch. Subsequent review showed that the failure occurred when a valve didn't receive a command to open. As the problem was with the pad and not with the rocket itself, it didn't occur at the McGregor test site, which didn't have the same valve setup. Some fire and smoke were seen at the base of the rocket, leading to speculation of an engine fire. However, the fire and smoke were the result of normal burnoff from the liquid oxygen and fuel mix present in the system prior to launch, and no damage was sustained by the vehicle or the test pad. All vehicle systems leading up to the abort performed as expected, and no additional issues were noted that needed addressing. A subsequent test on March 13 was successful in firing the nine first-stage engines for 3.5 seconds.
The first flight was delayed from March 2010 to June due to review of the Falcon 9 flight termination system by the Air Force.
The first actual launch attempt occurred at 1:30 pm EDT on Friday, June 4, 2010 (1730 UTC). The launch was aborted shortly after ignition, and the rocket successfully went through a failsafe abort. Ground crews were able to recycle the rocket, and successfully launched it at 2:45 pm EDT (1845 UTC) the same day.
The second Falcon 9 launch, and first COTS demo flight, lifted off on December 8, 2010.
The first nine-engine booster stage test of the Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage is expected to begin in late-April or early-May 2013, with a 10-second test as early as 30 April, followed by a full-duration firing of the nine booster engines a few days later. The first test of the ignition system for the nine-engine circular-configuration v1.1 Falcon 9 using Merlin 1D engines was conducted in April 2013.
As of December 2010[update], SpaceX stated that the Falcon 9 production line is manufacturing one new Falcon 9 (and Dragon spacecraft) every three months. In 2012, this is expected to double to one every six weeks.
Launcher versions 
There are presently two versions of the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 v1.1 will replace the current Falcon 9 in 2013. It includes realigned 1st-stage engines and longer fuel tanks. The engines themselves will be upgraded to the more powerful Merlin 1D. These improvements will increase the payload capability from about 20,000 pounds (9,000 kg) to over 29,000 pounds (13,000 kg). The new first stage will also be used as side boosters on Falcon Heavy.
A third version of the rocket is in development. The Falcon 9-R, a reusable variant of the Falcon 9 is being developed using systems and software tested on the Grasshopper technology demonstrator, as well as a set of technologies being developed by SpaceX to facilitate rapid reusability of both the first and second stages.
|Version||Falcon 9 v1.0 (block 1)||Falcon 9 v1.1|
|Stage 1||9 × Merlin 1C||9 × Merlin 1D|
|Stage 2||1 × Merlin 1C Vacuum||1 × Merlin 1D Vacuum|
|Max height (m)||53||69.2 (227 ft)|
|Initial thrust (kN)||3,807||5,880|
|Takeoff weight (tonnes)||318||480|
|Fairing diameter (inner; m)||*||3.6 or 5.2 (large fairing)|
|Payload to LEO (kg)||8,500–9,000 kg (launch at Cape Canaveral)||13,150 kg (launch at Cape Canaveral)|
|Payload to GTO (kg)||3,400||4,850|
|Price (Mil. USD)||54|
|Minimal cost to LEO (USD/kg)||4,109|
|Minimal cost to GTO (USD/kg)||11,900|
|Complete success ratio||4/5|
|Partial success ratio||1/5|
|Total loss ratio||0/5|
Historical data based on circa 2007 specifications may be found in these three sources.
* = The Falcon 9 v1.0 will only launch the Dragon spacecraft, so it does not use the payload fairing; only a nose cap.
The reliability of the Falcon-9 will not be established until the vehicle has a significant launch record. The company has predicted that it will have high reliability based on the philosophy that "through simplicity, reliability and low cost can go hand-in-hand," but this remains to be shown. As a comparison, the Russian Soyuz series has more than 1,700 launches to its credit, far more than any other rocket. Of the world's current launch vehicle families, 75% have had at least one failure in the first three flights.
After the successful launch of the CRS-2 mission on March 1, 2013, Falcon 9 v1.0 boasts a perfect record - five successful launches in five tries. Future launches of the rocket will be in the v1.1 configuration.
As with the company's smaller Falcon 1 vehicle, Falcon 9's launch sequence includes a hold-down feature that allows full engine ignition and systems check before liftoff. After first stage engine start, the launcher is held down and not released for flight until all propulsion and vehicle systems are confirmed to be operating normally. Similar hold-down systems have been used on other launch vehicles such as the Saturn V and Space Shuttle. An automatic safe shut-down and unloading of propellant occurs if any abnormal conditions are detected.
Engine-out capability 
Like the Saturn V and the unrealized Falcon 5 design, the presence of multiple first stage engines can in principle allow for mission completion even if one of the first-stage engines fails mid-flight. Falcon 9 is the first rocket since the Saturn series from the Apollo program, for which an engine-out capability was largely demonstrated. Detailed descriptions of several aspects of destructive engine failure modes and designed-in engine-out capabilities were made public by SpaceX in a 2007 "update" that was publicly released. 
SpaceX emphasized over several years that the Falcon 9 first stage is designed for engine out capability -- the capability to shut down one or more malfunctioning engines and still complete the mission as planned -- the SpaceX CRS-1 mission was a partial success after an engine failure in the first stage: The primary payload was inserted into the correct orbit, but the secondary payload was inserted into the wrong orbit and reentered atmosphere a few days after launch, in order to ensure ISS safety.
In detail, the first stage experienced a loss of pressure in, and then shut down, engine no. 1 at 79 seconds after its October 2012 launch. To compensate for the resulting loss of acceleration, the first stage had to burn 28 seconds longer than planned, and the second stage had to burn an extra 15 seconds.[unreliable source?] That extra burn time of the second stage reduced its fuel reserves, so that the likelihood that the fuel would suffice to reach the planned orbit above the space station with the secondary payload dropped from 99% to 95%. Because the safety of the ISS was a priority, NASA declined SpaceX the right to restart the second stage and attempt to deliver the secondary payload into the correct orbit. The secondary payload was lost in earth's atmosphere a few days after launch, and was therefore considered a loss.
Although the first stages of several early Falcon flights were equipped with parachutes and were intended to be recovered to assist engineers in designing for future reusability, SpaceX was not successful in recovering the stages from the initial test launches using the original approach. Although reusability of the second stage is more difficult, SpaceX intended from the beginning to eventually make both stages of the Falcon 9 reusable.
Both stages in the early launches were covered with a layer of ablative cork and possessed parachutes to land them gently in the sea. The stages were also marinized by salt-water corrosion resistant material, anodizing and paying attention to galvanic corrosion. In early 2009, Musk stated:
"By [Falcon 1] flight six we think it’s highly likely we’ll recover the first stage, and when we get it back we’ll see what survived through re-entry, and what got fried, and carry on with the process. ... That's just to make the first stage reusable, it'll be even harder with the second stage – which has got to have a full heatshield, it'll have to have deorbit propulsion and communication."
In late 2011, SpaceX announced a change in the approach, ditching the parachutes and going with a propulsively-powered-descent approach. On September 29, 2011, at the National Press Club, Musk indicated the initiation of a privately funded program to develop powered descent and recovery of both Falcon 9 stages – a fully vertical takeoff, vertical landing (VTVL) rocket. Included was a video said to be an approximation depicting the first stage returning tail-first for a powered descent and the second stage, with heat shield, reentering head first before rotating for a powered descent.
Design was complete on the system for "bringing the rocket back to launchpad using only thrusters" in February 2012. The reusable launch system technology is under consideration for both the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy, and is considered particularly well suited to the Falcon Heavy where the two outer cores separate from the rocket much earlier in the flight profile, and are therefore moving at slower velocity at stage separation.
A reusable first stage is now being flight tested by SpaceX with the suborbital Grasshopper rocket. By April 2013, a low-altitude, low-speed demonstration test vehicle, Grasshopper v1.0, had made five VTVL test flights including a 61-second hover flight to an altitude of 250 metres (820 ft).
In March 2013, SpaceX announced that, beginning with the first flight of the stretch version of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle—the sixth flight overall of Falcon 9, currently scheduled for June 2013—every first stage would be instrumented and equipped as a controlled descent test vehicle. SpaceX intends to do propulsive-return over-water tests and "will continue doing such tests until they can do a return to the launch site and a powered landing. ... [They] expect several failures before they 'learn how to do it right.'" For the early-summer 2013 flight, after stage separation, the first stage booster will do a burn to slow it down and then a second burn just before it reaches the water. When all of the over-water testing is complete, they intend to fly back to the launch site and land propulsively, perhaps as early as mid-2014. SpaceX has been explicit that they do not expect a successful recovery in the first several powered-descent tests. 
Launch sites 
As of November 2012[update] Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is the only active Falcon 9 launch site. A second site for polar-orbit launches is under development at SLC-4 of Vandenberg Air Force Base.
A third site, intended solely for commercial launches, is currently being decided among locations in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
Launch prices 
Earlier, at an appearance in May 2004 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Elon Musk testified, "Long term plans call for development of a heavy lift product and even a super-heavy, if there is customer demand. [...] Ultimately, I believe $500 per pound [of payload delivered to orbit] or less is very achievable."
SpaceX formally announced plans for the Falcon 9 on September 8, 2005, describing it as being a "fully reusable heavy lift launch vehicle." A Falcon 9 medium[clarification needed] was described as being capable of launching approximately 21,000 lb (9,500 kg) to low Earth orbit, priced at $27 million per flight ($1286/lb).
Elon Musk at a National Press Club luncheon on Thursday, September 29, 2011, stated that fuel and oxygen total about $200,000 for the Falcon 9 rocket. The first stage uses 39,000 US gallons (150,000 l; 32,000 imp gal) of liquid oxygen and almost 25,000 US gallons (95,000 l; 21,000 imp gal) of kerosene, while the second stage uses 7,300 US gallons (28,000 l; 6,100 imp gal) of liquid oxygen and 4,600 US gallons (17,000 l; 3,800 imp gal) of kerosene.
Secondary payload services 
Falcon 9 payload services include secondary and tertiary payload connection via an ESPA-ring, the same interstage adapter first utilized for launching secondary payloads on US DoD missions that utilize the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV) Atlas V and Delta IV. This reduces launch costs for the primary mission and enables secondary and even tertiary missions with minimal impact to the original mission. As of 2011[update], SpaceX announced pricing for ESPA-compatible payloads on the Falcon 9.
Launch history 
As of March 2013, SpaceX has made five launches of the Falcon 9 since 2010, and all five have successfully delivered their primary payloads to Low Earth orbit.
The second launch of the Falcon 9, and the first of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft atop it, occurred at 10:43 EST (15:43 UTC) on December 8, 2010, from Cape Canaveral. The Dragon spacecraft completed two orbits, then splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. A second NASA-contracted demonstration flight was flown in 2012, followed by the first two ISS resupply flights in late 2012 and early 2013.
The sixth launch of the Falcon 9—scheduled for early summer 2013—will be the first launch of the substantially upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 vehicle. The launch will include a number of Falcon 9 "firsts", including:
- first use of the upgraded Merlin 1D engines, generating approximately 56 percent more sea-level thrust than the Merlin 1C engines used on all previous Falcon 9 vehicles
- first use of the significantly longer first stage, which was lengthened to accommodate the larger propellant tanks needed to carry propellant for the more powerful engines
- the nine Merlin 1D engines on the first stage are arranged in an octagonal pattern with eight engines in a circle and the ninth in the center
- first launch from SpaceX's new launch facility, Space Launch Complex 4, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and will be the first launch over the Pacific ocean utilizing the facilities of the Pacific test range.
- first Falcon 9 launch to carry a satellite. Each prior Falcon 9 launch was of a Dragon capsule or a Dragon-shaped test article, although SpaceX has previously successfully launched and deployed a satellite on the Falcon 1, Flight 5 mission.
- first Falcon 9 launch to have a jettisonable payload fairing, which introduces the risk of an additional separation event.
See also 
- "Falcon 9 Overview, Launch Cost". SpaceX. 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- "Falcon 9 User's Guide". SpaceX. 2009. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "Detailed Mission Data – Falcon-9 ELV First Flight Demonstration". Mission Set Database. NASA GSFC. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "SpaceX Falcon 9 Upper Stage Engine Successfully Completes Full Mission Duration Firing" (Press release). SpaceX. March 10, 2009.
- "Falcon 9 Overview". SpaceX. 8 May 2010.
- "The Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation: 2012". Federal Aviation Administration. February 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- Clark, Stephen (2012-05-18). "Q&A with SpaceX founder and chief designer Elon Musk". SpaceFlightNow. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
- Mission Status Center, June 2, 2010, 1905 GMT, SpaceflightNow, accessed 2010-06-02, Quotation: "The flanges will link the rocket with ground storage tanks containing liquid oxygen, kerosene fuel, helium, gaserous nitrogen and the first stage ignitor source called triethylaluminum-triethylborane, better known as TEA-TAB."
- "SpaceX's reusable rocket testbed takes first hop". 2012-09-24. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- "Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle Payload User’s Guide, 2009". SpaceX. 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
- "Musk ambition: SpaceX aim for fully reusable Falcon 9". NASAspaceflight.com. 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2013-05-09. "With Falcon I’s fourth launch, the first stage got cooked, so we’re going to beef up the Thermal Protection System (TPS). By flight six we think it’s highly likely we’ll recover the first stage, and when we get it back we’ll see what survived through re-entry, and what got fried, and carry on with the process. That’s just to make the first stage reusable, it’ll be even harder with the second stage – which has got to have a full heatshield, it’ll have to have deorbit propulsion and communication."
- Simberg, Rand (2012-02-08). "Elon Musk on SpaceX’s Reusable Rocket Plans". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
- Svitak, Amy (2012-11-18). "Dragon's "Radiation-Tolerant" Design". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
- "Space Launch report, SpaceX Falcon Data Sheet". Retrieved 2011-07-29.
- Mr. Alan Lindenmoyer, Manager, NASA Commercial Crew & Cargo Program, quoted in Minutes of the NAC Commercial Space Committee, April 26, 2010
- "THE FACTS ABOUT SPACEX COSTS". spacex.com. May 4, 2011.
- "Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle NAFCOM Cost Estimates". nasa.gov. August 2011.
- Space Act Agreement between NASA and Space Exploration Technologies, Inc., for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Demonstration (pdf)
- Coppinger, Rob (2008-02-27). "SpaceX Falcon 9 maiden flight delayed by six months to late Q1 2009". Flight Global.
- "SpaceX Conducts First Multi-Engine Firing of Falcon 9 Rocket" (Press release). SpaceX. 18 January 2008.
- "SpaceX successfully conducts full mission-length firing of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle" (Press release). SpaceX. November 23, 2008.
- "SpaceX announces Falcon 9 assembly underway at the Cape". Orlando Sentinel. 11 Feb 2010.
- "Updates". SpaceX. February 25, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-04.
- Kremer, Ken (March 13, 2010). "Successful Engine Test Firing for SpaceX Inaugural Falcon 9". Universe Today. Retrieved 2010-06-04.
- Kaufman, Marc (June 4, 2010). "Falcon 9 rocket launch aborted". Washington Post. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- Staff writer (August 20, 2010). "SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket enjoys successful maiden flight". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
- "COTS Demo Flight 1 status". SpaceFlight Now.
- Abbot, Joseph (2013-04-26). "Heads up: SpaceX testing is about to get louder". Waco Tribune. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
- First test of the Falcon 9-R (reusable) ignition system, 28 April 2013
- Q & A with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk: Master of Private Space Dragons, space.com, 2010-12-08, accessed 2010-12-09. "now have Falcon 9 and Dragon in steady production at approximately one F9/Dragon every three months. The F9 production rate doubles to one every six weeks in 2012."
- "Falcon 9's commercial promise to be tested in 2013". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Abbott, Joseph (2013-05-08). "SpaceX’s Grasshopper leaping to NM spaceport". Waco Tribune. Retrieved 2013-05-09.
- "Falcon 9 Overview". SpaceX. 2010. Retrieved 4 Apr 2011.
- Upgraded Spacex Falcon 9.1.1 will launch 25% more than the old Falcon 9 and bring the price down to $4109 per kilogram to LEO, NextBigFuture, 22 Mar 2013.
- "SpaceX Falcon Data Sheet". Space Launch Report. 5 July 2007.
- "Monster Progress Update (Mostly Falcon 9)". SpaceX. 17 August 2007.
- "Falcon 1 Overview". SpaceX. 28 September 2007.
- Space Exploration Technologies, Inc., Reliability brochure, v 12, undated (accessed Dec. 29, 2011)
- "Russia scores success in its 1,700th Soyuz launch". Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- NASA PAO, Hold-Down Arms and Tail Service Masts, Moonport, SP-4204 (accessed 26 August 2010)
- Behind the Scenes With the World's Most Ambitious Rocket Makers, Popular Mechanics, 2009-09-01, accessed 2012-12-11. "It is the first since the Saturn series from the Apollo program to incorporate engine-out capability—that is, one or more engines can fail and the rocket will still make it to orbit."
- "Updates: December 2007". Updates Archive. SpaceX. Dec 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-27. "Once we have all nine engines and the stage working well as a system, we will extensively test the “engine out” capability. This includes explosive and fire testing of the barriers that separate the engines from each other and from the vehicle. ... It should be said that the failure modes we’ve seen to date on the test stand for the Merlin 1C are all relatively benign – the turbo pump, combustion chamber and nozzle do not rupture explosively even when subjected to extreme circumstances. We have seen the gas generator (which drives the turbo pump assembly) blow apart during a start sequence (there are now checks in place to prevent that from happening), but it is a small device, unlikely to cause major damage to its own engine, let alone the neighboring ones. Even so, as with engine nacelles on commercial jets, the fire/explosive barriers will assume that the entire chamber blows apart in the worst possible way. The bottom close out panels are designed to direct any force or flame downward, away from neighboring engines and the stage itself. ... we’ve found that the Falcon 9’s ability to withstand one or even multiple engine failures, just as commercial airliners do, and still complete its mission is a compelling selling point with customers. Apart from the Space Shuttle and Soyuz, none of the existing  launch vehicles can afford to lose even a single thrust chamber without causing loss of mission."
- "Falcon 9 Overview". SpaceX. 8 May 2010.
- de Selding, Peter B. (2012-10-11). "Orbcomm Craft Launched by Falcon 9 Falls out of Orbit". Space News. Retrieved 2012-10-12. "Orbcomm requested that SpaceX carry one of their small satellites (weighing a few hundred pounds, vs. Dragon at over 12,000 pounds)... The higher the orbit, the more test data [Orbcomm] can gather, so they requested that we attempt to restart and raise altitude. NASA agreed to allow that, but only on condition that there be substantial propellant reserves, since the orbit would be close to the space station. It is important to appreciate that Orbcomm understood from the beginning that the orbit-raising maneuver was tentative. They accepted that there was a high risk of their satellite remaining at the Dragon insertion orbit. SpaceX would not have agreed to fly their satellite otherwise, since this was not part of the core mission and there was a known, material risk of no altitude raise."
- Leitenberger, Bernd. "SpaceX CRS-1 Nachlese". Retrieved 2012-10-29.
- Lindsey, Clark S. "Interview* with Elon Musk". HobbySpace. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- Simburg, Rand. "SpaceX Press Conference". Retrieved 16 June 2010.. Musk quote: “We will never give up! Never! Reusability is one of the most important goals. If we become the biggest launch company in the world, making money hand over fist, but we’re still not reusable, I will consider us to have failed.”
- "Elon Musk says SpaceX will attempt to develop fully reusable space launch vehicle". Washington Post. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-10-11. "Both of the rocket’s stages would return to the launch site and touch down vertically, under rocket power, on landing gear after delivering a spacecraft to orbit."
- Wall, Mike (2011-09-30). "SpaceX Unveils Plan for World's First Fully Reusable Rocket". SPACE.com. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- National Press Club: The Future of Human Spaceflight, cspan, 29 Sep 2011.
- Boyle, Alan (2012-12-24). "SpaceX launches its Grasshopper rocket on 12-story-high hop in Texas". MSNBC Cosmic Log. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
- Lindsey, Clark (2013-03-28). "SpaceX moving quickly towards fly-back first stage". NewSpace Watch. Retrieved 2013-03-29.
- Messier, Doug (2013-03-28). "Dragon Post-Mission Press Conference Notes". Parabolic Arc. Retrieved 2013-03-30. "Q. What is strategy on booster recover? Musk: Initial recovery test will be a water landing. First stage continue in ballistic arc and execute a velocity reduction burn before it enters atmosphere to lessen impact. Right before splashdown, will light up the engine again. Emphasizes that we don’t expect success in the first several attempts. Hopefully next year with more experience and data, we should be able to return the first stage to the launch site and do a propulsion landing on land using legs. Q. Is there a flight identified for return to launch site of the booster? Musk: No. Will probably be the middle of next year."
- First test of the Falcon 9-R (reusable) ignition system, 28 April 2013
- "SpaceX Press Conference". Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- "Texas, Florida Battle for SpaceX Spaceport". Parabolic Arc. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Testimony of Elon Musk (May 5, 2004). "Space Shuttle and the Future of Space Launch Vehicles". U.S. Senate.
- "SpaceX Announces the Falcon 9 Fully Reusable Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle" (Press release). SpaceX. 2005-09-08.
- David, Leonard. "SpaceX tackles reusable heavy launch vehicle". MSN. MSNBC.
- "National Press Club: The Future of Human Spaceflight" (Press release). c-span.org. 2012-01-14. Text " http://www.c-span.org/Events/National-Press-Club-The-Future-of-Human-Spaceflight/10737424486/ " ignored (help)
- Foust, Jeff (2011-08-22). "New opportunities for smallsat launches". The Space Review. Retrieved 2011-09-27. "SpaceX ... developed prices for flying those secondary payloads ... A P-POD would cost between $200,000 and $325,000 for missions to LEO, or $350,000 to $575,000 for missions to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). An ESPA-class satellite weighing up to 180 kilograms would cost $4–5 million for LEO missions and $7–9 million for GTO missions, he said."
- BBC News. "Private space capsule's maiden voyage ends with a splash." December 8, 2010. December 8, 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11948329
- Foust, Jeff (2013-03-27). "After Dragon, SpaceX’s focus returns to Falcon". NewSpace Journal. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Falcon 9|
|Wikinews has related news: SpaceX successfully test fires Falcon 9 rocket in Texas|
- Falcon 9 official page
- Falcon Heavy official page
- Test firing of two Merlin 1C engines connected to Falcon 9 first stage, Movie 1, Movie 2 (January 18, 2008)
- Press release announcing design (September 9, 2005)
- SpaceX hopes to supply ISS with new Falcon 9 heavy launcher (Flight International, September 13, 2005)
- SpaceX launches Falcon 9, With A Customer (Defense Industry Daily, September 15, 2005)