Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 3: Space Vehicles
Falcon
 
Copyright © 2006 Jos Heyman
 (HTML formatting by Andreas Parsch) 

SpaceX Falcon

Developed by Space Exploration technologies (SpaceX), the Falcon series of launch vehicles provides a low cost launching facility through the use of standardized engines which are clustered to achieve a desired launch vehicle. Its objective is to provide low cost launch vehicles and it is intended that the first stage will be re-usable after a return by parachute and a water landing. The launch vehicle makes use of existing materials and components but the liquid fuelled Merlin and Kestrel rocket motors are newly developed.

Image: SpaceX
Falcon Family


Falcon 1

The Falcon 1, which has a total length of 21.30 m, is a two stage vehicle with a capacity to place payloads of 570 kg into a low-Earth orbit.

Photos: SpaceX
Falcon 1


Stage Length Diameter Engine Fuel Thrust
1 1.70 m1 MerlinLox/Kerosene342 kN
2 1.70 m1 KestrelLox/Kerosene31 kN

Specifications for Falcon 1


The Falcon 1 was first launched on 24 March 2006 from Omolek Island in the Pacific Ocean but the launch failed due to a leak in one of the fuel tanks.

Falcon 5

The Falcon 5 is an intermediate class launch vehicle with a capability to place 4100 kg into a low-Earth orbit. It uses a larger diameter structure that can house the five first stage engines. The use of five engines means that, in some flight scenarios, as many as three engines can be lost without the loss of the mission. Both stages of the Falcon 5, which has a length of 47 m, are fully recoverable.

Stage Length Diameter Engine Fuel Thrust
1 3.60 m5 MerlinLox/Kerosene1890 kN
2 3.60 m1 KestrelLox/Kerosene31 kN

Specifications for Falcon 5


No flight dates have been set for the Falcon 5.

Falcon 9

The Falcon 9 version is a development of the Falcon 5 but uses 9 engines in the first stage to give it a capability to place 9300 kg payloads into low-Eartyh orbit, bringing it the same class as the Atlas and Delta launch vehicles. The Falcon 9 will have a total length of 53 m.

Stage Length Diameter Engine Fuel Thrust
1 3.60 m9 MerlinLox/Kerosene3400 kN
2 3.60 m1 MerlinLox/Kerosene409 kN

Specifications for Falcon 9


Further potential developments are the addition of two 5 engined and 9 engined strap-on stages which will increase the payload capacity to 24750 kg into low-Earth orbit, or 9650 kg into a geostationary orbit. The first flight of a Falcon 9 is scheduled for 2007.


Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 3





Last Updated: 15 April 2006