Falcon 1: the first private spacecraft in orbit

On September 28, 2008, SpaceX successfully launched the first private spacecraft, the Falcon 1, into orbit.

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation is an American aerospace manufacturing and space transportation services entity headquartered in California.

Its origin dates back to 2001, when Elon Musk conceptualized Mars Oasis, a project to send a miniature experimental greenhouse to Mars.

They sought to grow plants, in an attempt to regain public interest in space exploration and achieve an increase in the budget for NASA.

Musk tried to buy cheap rockets from Russia, but came back empty-handed when he couldn’t get them at an affordable price.

On the return flight he realized that he could create a company that would build the rockets he needed.

Musk estimated that the cost of materials needed to make a rocket at the time was only 3 percent of the price of a launch.

If they produced about 85 percent of the necessary parts themselves, their company could reduce spending by up to tenfold while maintaining a 70 percent profit.

In early 2002, Musk began looking for employees for his new company.

He contacted aerospace engineer Tom Mueller and they agreed to work together.

In June 2002, Musk founded SpaceX.

The company grew rapidly from 160 employees in November 2005 to 1,100 in 2010.

On August 18, 2006, NASA announced that SpaceX had won a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services contract.

It was to demonstrate the delivery of cargo to the International Space Station with the possible option of crew transportation.

In March 2006 they managed to launch the Falcon 1 for the first time.

The two-stage rocket used liquid oxygen.

The first stage was powered by a single Merlin engine.

While the second by a Kestrel rocket engine.

The aircraft managed to reach orbit on its fourth launch.

It became the first liquid fuel-powered orbital launch vehicle to be developed through private financing.

On September 28, 2008, SpaceX successfully launched the first private spacecraft, the Falcon 1, into orbit.

The story is also news on Radio Perfil. Script by Sebastián Rojas and voiceover by Pita Fortín.

by Radio Profile

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