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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is medium lift launch vehicle and is used for launching payloads to orbit. Falcon 9 is also used to send Dragon capsule to the International Space Station.

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Moorise Picture

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Moonrise.

Falcon 9 was developed from the ground up by SpaceX for cost-effective transport into orbit. The Falcon 9 is a two-stage launch vehicle that uses liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene. Its aluminum lithium alloy exterior uses the strongest and most reliable welding techniques available

At present Falcon 9 is launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 40 In the future SpaceX plans to lease Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 4.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Specs:

Diameter: 3.66m (12ft)
Height: 69.2 m (227 ft)
Thrust (sea level): 5.88 MN (1,320,000 lbf)
Stages: 2
Launch mass: 333,400 kg (735,000 lb)
Payload to LEO: 13,150 kg (29,000 lb)
Payload to GTO: 4,850 kg (10,700 lb)


The Falcon 9 is powered by nine Merlin 1C rocket engines (LOX/Kero), which are the highest performing American hydrocarbon rockets ever flown. The engines generate one million pounds of thrust in a vacuum, employing the same technology as that used in the Apollo moon mission.

The second stage of the Falcon 9 is powered by a single Merlin engine with an expansion ratio of 117:1 and a nominal burn time of 345 seconds.

In line with its goal of reusability, SpaceX plans to make the first stage reusable by its sixth flight. The second stage, which separates from the Dragon capsule and falls to Earth at a much higher altitude, will require significant advances in heat shield technology to withstand atmospheric temperatures and become reusable.

Flights History

Flight 1:   First Falcon 9 Launch

The first Falcon 9 flight was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on 4 June, 2010 with a successful orbital insertion.

Flight 2:   COTS Demo Flight 1

On December 8, 2010, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to launch, fly and recover a spacecraft from Earth orbit.

Flight 3:   COTS Demo Flight 2

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was the first fully commercially developed launcher to deliver a payload to the International Space Station. It was launched on 22 May 2012.

Flight 4:   CRS-1  (1st of 12 contracted flights)

SpaceX CRS-1, the first contracted cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract was launched on Sunday, October 7, 2012.

Flight 5:   CRS-2  (2nd of 12 contracted flights)

SpaceX CRS-2, the 2nd contracted cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station maybe launched in 1 March 2013.


DragonLab Mission 1

Did you know?

* Elon Musk is the founder and CEO of SpaceX and views space exploration as an important stop in preserving the human race. He wants to set foot on Mars by 2030.

* SpaceX was the first commercial company in history to visit the International Space Station.


Flying SpaceX F9 Model Rocket

Falcon 9 Model Picture


Flying SpaceX F9 Model Rocket

Build and fly your own 1:88 scale model Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft into low-Earth atmosphere. The model comes with molded nose and tail, full-color preprinted body tube and full-color sticker for Dragon.

The finished model stands 58 centimeters (22.8 inches) tall. No painting required. The kit includes molded transparent fins for flight that can be removed for display.


SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon Flying Model Rocket Kit. Price: $29.69.




Space Launch System (SLS): America's Next Manned Rocket for NASA Deep Space Exploration to the Moon, Asteroids, Mars - Rocket Plans, Ground Facilities, Tests, Saturn V Comparisons, Configurations by World Spaceflight News & NASA. [Kindle Edition] (April 2012)

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The Mighty Saturns - Saturn V (DVD)
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Links and References:

  • SpaceX: Makers of Falcon 9 - Official site for SpaceX.

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Copyright 2000-2014 Vic Stathopoulos. All rights reserved.
Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014

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