SpaceX moving forward with rocket for space capsule

The first stage tank of the Falcon 9 launcher will soon be shipped to the Texas Test Facility of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) for proof testing, integration of the propulsion system and a full stage firing later this year.

Falcon 9 is scheduled for a first flight in the second quarter of 2008.

Falcon 9 is a two stage, liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) powered launch vehicle that has the same engines, structural architecture (with a wider diameter), avionics and launch system as the smaller Falcon 1. SpaceX has six Falcon 9 flights contracted. The first is a demonstration flight for a US government customer.

The sixth flight, scheduled for the third quarter of 2009, carries the company’s Dragon capsule and will demonstrate delivery of cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the NASA COTS (commercial off the shelf) program.

The Dragon spaceship is designed to transport up to seven astronauts, as well as both pressurized and unpressurized cargo, to Earth orbit and back. Dragon’s universal docking adapter allows it to interface with all current ISS docking/berthing systems, as well as future systems under development.

Source:  Sat News

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