Talk:Falcon 5

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I am highly suspicious of (the motives of the person who initially wrote) this article. It appears to me that it was an attempt at advertising. This for several reasons:

  • The article included pricing information (which I have now removed).
  • This article refers to a launch vehicle under development, which has never flown. Nevertheless, it was included in the Space Launch Vehicles category, a category which by all appearances seems to be reserved for actual existing and functional or historical (previously existing) hardware that (success or failure) was actually flown.
  • It was not prominently indicatedin the article that the rocket in question has never flown. (I have added a boilerplate type warning to that extent.)

I first had a mind to submitting this for deletion outright: There are literally hundreds of "hopeful" projects at various stages of completion out there. If we were to include them all under the said launch vehicle category, that category would be swamped with vapourware. There is a reason why, say, the Kistler K1 isn't included either. To paraphrase John Kerry: Saying something is a launch vehicle doesn't make it so. (It needs to be completed and flown first.)

However, upon further consideration I acknowledge that it is useful to include information about unfinished endeavours like this in the Wikipedia: They may soon be finished. This doesn't however justify the categorization Space Launch vehicle until the thing has flown in some form. It isn't done till it's done. And putting pricing info in the Wikipaedia is of course wholly unacceptable. Ropers 23:25, 31 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Falcon Rockets[edit]

In answer to your questions and comments:

(1) I am at least two degrees removed from any benefit from SpaceX. Even there, the connection is rather tenuous, since I haven't been in the industry for a decade and haven't kept up my connections.
(2) It is convention to give list pricing/costing numbers in space references (see, e.g., Astronautix), so that researchers can do cost per pound to Low Earth Orbit calculations. I guess that's because the industry is so heavily government influenced. In any event, DARPA purchased the first Falcon I flight for $6 million, so it's a matter of public record for that rocket at least.
(3) The engines for these rockets have already been built and tested and at least the Falcon I has been fully assembled. It is true that neither have been launched yet, but the rockets exist as identifiable articles, and, as such, fully warrant present tense treatment. Please note that in my additions to the reusable launch vehicle article, I did add reference to the Kistler K-1 and the X-Prize vehicles, in anticipation of somebody adding information on those vehicles. Also, I did include cost information on the Armadillo Aerospace's Black Armadillo, so I think the NPOV has been preserved.

Because of all of these things, I am going to revert the articles for now. Dschmelzer 20:25, 1 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Further comments re. this issue are at Talk:Falcon I. Ropers 14:16, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Axe the launch site details, pricing information, payload capabilities and vehicle details. Merge content with Falcon I. Do those things and, with a little copy editing, this could shape up to be a pretty good article. –Floorsheim 05:00, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Falcon 9 and change of Falcon 5 configuration[edit]

Someone should write something about it [1]. --Bricktop 00:17, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Re-usability of Falcon V[edit]

Per the payload user guide, the second stage is not reusable. I've pulled an edit that suggested it was. - CHAIRBOY () 21:23, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

You are confusing the Falcon I with the Falcon 5. SpaceX says both stages of the Falcon 5 are designed to be reusable, see[2].--Duk 23:06, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
How does the stage return from orbit without breaking up though? --GW_Simulations 13:04, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Falcon V or Falcon 5?[edit]

Being that SpaceX refers to this rocket as the "Falcon 5", should this article still be named "Falcon V"? The same can be said about the Falcon 1. Finally, just to avoid any ambiguity later, perhaps the model articles should be prefaced with "SpaceX" so that this article would be named "SpaceX Falcon 5". --StuffOfInterest 13:11, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Numerals sound good, but i'd disagree with the SpaceX prefix. --Duk 15:48, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

2nd Stage Engine(s)?[edit]

The table lists the 2nd stage as having "2 * Kestrel engine (or 1 * Merlin engine)" but on the SpaceX website[3] it says a single merlin engine will be used, and there is no mention of the possiblity of 2 Kestrel engines being used--perhaps this should be changed? --subzero788 4:00, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

done:--Duk 20:29, 7 December 2005 (UTC)


This page appears to be very outdated. As far as I know, Falcon 5 won't be human rated (that's the Falcon 9), and there is no launch planned for late 2006. Plus the picture doesn't look like the right vehicle, and they changed the design a bit so maybe that's the old design?Fifteen10e56 22:36, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


How does the Falcon 5 re-use all over again? Do they use parachutes to retrieve it and return it back to launch site? Bigtop 23:32, 29 November 2006 (UTC)


The lead paragraph reads:

The Falcon 5 is a two stage to orbit partially reusable launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX. The first stage includes five Merlin engines and the upper stage includes one Merlin engine. Both burn kerosene/liquid oxygen. Along with the Falcon 9, it will be the world's first fully reusable launcher.

I have highlighted the sections that contradict. Which is correct? --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 12:47, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I think some Falcon 1 info snuck in. The Falcon 1 is a partially reusable rocket (stage 1 reused, stage 2 burns up), but the Falcon 5 and 9 are (or were for the 5 now) supposed to be fully reusable (both stages come home). If time permits, I'll try to dig through the SpaceX website for more information. --StuffOfInterest 13:42, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
added ref and removed the {{contradiction}} tag. --Duk 07:48, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Delete page?[edit]

Should this rocked have an article? It has been canceled and was never launched. I'm inclined to redirect to Falcon 9. --Duk 02:43, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

The Falcon 9 really is a completely different rocket design from what was put into the Falcon 5. Some significant engineering did go into the Falcon 5, and it was explicitly "advertised" on the SpaceX website. From this perspective, it seems reasonable to give this its own independent article, but admittedly it will be sparse on the information as its development seems to have been abandoned.
More to the point, the Falcon 9 is not the same as the Falcon 5, and these are two completely different vehicles. That they are both a part of the Falcon series of spacecraft is true, and it was hinted that perhaps the Falcon 5 might be re-introduced at some point in the future... even though (I don't believe) that any active engineering effort is going into its development at the moment. Engineers working on the Falcon 5 were re-tasked to the Falcon 9 or elsewhere in the company.
So, no, I don't think this should be merged into the Falcon 9 article and should be maintained as a separate article. --Robert Horning (talk) 03:55, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Strong oppose - just because it never launched is no reason not to include it. It is still notable. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 08:55, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

When canceled?[edit]

The last SpaceX press release which mentions the Falcon 5 was in December 2005. Are there any references to when SpaceX officially halted development and marketing? A past edit indicated Falcon 5 was removed from the SpaceX website in January 2007. --IanOsgood (talk) 17:27, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

A really excellent source was added to the article on 2010-07-17T07:20:20 by User:GW Simulations, that would seem to indicate the F5 was dropped in 2007. However, still looking for a source to indicate SpaceX explicitly dropped the rocket program. So I think the When is clear; still need to find verifiable info on SpaceX cancellation or not. N2e (talk) 12:34, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Is the Falcon 5 resurrected from the dead for Stratolaunch?[edit]

The lead sentence to a section entitled "Related launch vehicle plans" says: "Although Falcon 5 was never built, in December 2011 Stratolaunch Systems announced that they will use a Falcon-derivative two-stage liquid-fueled air-launched launch vehicle to be developed by SpaceX." I think that is a correct summary of the source article.

Later in the paragraph, an editor has added back in much stronger claims that this is, in fact, the specific "Falcon 5" vehicle—once cancelled and now back—now carried "in between the hulls". This may be true, but I've been reading all the sources, and have not seen that strong claim supported in any source I've read. As of now, the links to the reputed sources are not working. Could you please provide an in-context quotation, and a working link, to the article that claims this is a repurposed "Falcon 5", rather than merely a derivative of Falcon rocket technology? Thanks. N2e (talk) 02:39, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I believe I fixed the relevant offending phrase: changed "Falcon 5" to "Falcon 5-class" which I believe more accurately portrays the situation. As of 2006, the Falcon 5 design was simply a Falcon 9 with four engines removed (Wade, Since it is essentially a 5-engine Falcon 9, and the reports say that it is a Falcon 9 derivative, that is why it can be called a Falcon 5, but I think calling it a Falcon 5-class booster is more generic, and possibly more accurate as you pointed out. There are conflicting reports whether or not it will contain fewer or more than 5-engines. If it doesn't contain 5-engines, than it isn't a Falcon 5, because Falcon 9 derivatives that have less power than it are named by how many engines they have — only the Falcon 1 is currently not a Falcon 9-based derivative. So a 4-engine Falcon is a Falcon 4, and a 6-engine Falcon is a Falcon 6, using SpaceX's seeming logic.--Abebenjoe (talk) 03:07, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm with you on some of what you say, but not other parts of it. Bottom line, we—as Wikipedia editors—don't get to call it either a "Falcon-derivative" nor "Falcon-5 class" unless we have a reliable source that does so. We have a source for the "Falcon-derivative" claim, and I've put that in the article, with an in-context quotation to clarify for any reader/editor. Without a source, we should not claim it is a Falcon 5, nor even Falcon-5 class, just because it (may have) five engines—that would be original research. It might have five engines, and be made by SpaceX, and be a Falcon-family derivative, etc. -- but hundreds of other specifications on this newly-developed air-launched rocket might be quite different from the old/original Falcon 5 that SpaceX conceived, and never developed, circa 2005 or so, and none of those similarities supports us calling it a Falcon 5 -- that is for the manufacturer to do. And by the same logic, we—as Wikipedia editors—don't get to "name" it a "Falcon 4" just cause it (may turn out to have) four engines. It is up to SpaceX or Stratolaunch to name their launch vehicle.
I see you have been working on cleaning up the broken links. I appreciate that. I will come back and check the article sources, and see if they support the rather strong Falcon 5 claims, in another day or so. Don't have time just now. N2e (talk) 03:49, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I believe I have addressed your concerns in the latest edits.--Abebenjoe (talk) 19:21, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Upon further reflection, I am not too sure why this entire article even exists. I am at the point of suggesting that the whole article be deleted, and some of the information incorporated into the Falcon (rocket family) instead, mainly due the Falcon 5 becoming a Falcon 9 derivative after that point. It was never built nor test-flown, and its specifications changed drastically between original inception in 2003 until 2007, when it was abandoned. The Stratolaunch air-launch version, may or may not be a Falcon 5, but it definitely will be a Falcon 9 derivative, which is all the Falcon 5 is after 2006.--Abebenjoe (talk) 19:42, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I do not believe that the Falcon 5 article ought to be deleted, or merged. Why? It is an article that documents a very real 21st century private rocket development project, one that was underway for several years, and had a set of real specs that defined what it was, in its' time. That it was never actually built is not, in and of itself, a reason to eliminate the article. It was notable, and has reliable sources that support notability. The Falcon 5 article ought to describe that rocket, as a chapter in Spaceflight history, as an important development project that was never built, just as Wikipedia has hundreds of other articles on Russian, and US, and other agency rockets that never got to flight hardware.
However, it is quite another thing to do a lot of, what may appear to some, historical revisionism on the existing Falcon 5 Wikipedia article just because the Stratolaunch/SpaceX arrangement has been announced, and the company indicates that the air-launched SpaceX rocket will be a Falcon-derivative, and may have five or four engines. It is in myriad other ways, including rocket launch mass, length, etc., a very different rocket. That some of the "press" goofed it up and reported it differently, alluding to a bit of Falcon 5-ness, and inventing a term that the company did not use, "Falcon 4", does not change this. So I am in favor of a relatively minimalist mention of Stratolaunch in this article, at least based on the limited sources we have now. Let's let it cook a while and see what the company defines this new rocket as, over time. If indicated, we can change the article then.
In the meantime, I think that the Stratolaunch material in this article ought to be significantly scaled back. N2e (talk) 06:07, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. Limit Stratolaunch material in this article.--Abebenjoe (talk) 00:54, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
 Done This seems to all be cleaned up now. The main description of the new air-launched rocket is in the Falcon (rocket family) article, with only a brief summary in this article about the legacy, ground-launched, 47-meter-tall, circa-2005 SpaceX launch vehicle concept. In due time, when more is known about the air-launched rocket, I expect that a new Wikipedia article will be created to cover that specific launch vehicle. N2e (talk) 15:27, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

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