Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) announced Thursday that the Office of the Secretary of Defense, through the Office of Force Transformation (OFT), has purchased the maiden voyage of the Falcon orbital launch vehicle. The launch will take place in early 2004 from the SpaceX launch complex at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Although developed entirely with private funding, Falcon will be the first launch vehicle consistent with the DOD goal of an operationally responsive launch capability. Moreover, Falcon represents a breakthrough in the cost of access to space and is designed to achieve a higher reliability than vehicles currently available.
TacSat-1, the satellite manifested, is being built and integrated by the US Naval Research Laboratory for OFT. It will be used for enterprise wide data and task communication for tactical and operational commanders through the Department of Defense's SIPNET.
"SpaceX is very appreciative of the faith in our Falcon launch vehicle shown by the Department of Defense," said Elon Musk, Chairman & CEO of SpaceX. "For the first time in decades, the minimum cost of access to space will see a dramatic decrease and space will become affordable again."
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of access to space by a factor of ten. Falcon, a two stage, liquid-fueled orbital launch vehicle, is the company's first product.
Located in El Segundo, California, the company was founded by CEO Elon Musk in June 2002. SpaceX is the third company founded by Mr. Musk. Previously he co-founded and was the largest shareholder of PayPal, the world's leading electronic payment system, which sold to online auction giant eBay(tm) for $1.5 billion in 2002.
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SpaceX Wants To Sell Small Sat Builders Cheap Launches
Logan - Aug 11, 2003
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will propose a more affordable and reliable alternative to delivering payloads to orbit at the 17th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, hosted by Utah State University Aug. 11-14, 2003.
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