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. SpaceX Completes Primary Structure Of The Falcon 9 First Stage Tank

File image of the Falcon 9.
by Staff Writers
El Segundo CA (SPX) Apr 16, 2007
SpaceX completed the primary structure for the Falcon 9 first stage tank. This tank will be shipped to our Texas Test Facility for proof testing, integration of the propulsion system, and a full stage firing to occur later this year. Production of the second unit will begin early next month.

SpaceX has six Falcon 9 flights contracted. The first is a demonstration flight for a US government customer and is scheduled to lift off in Q3 2008. The sixth flight, scheduled for Q3 2009, carries our Dragon capsule and will demonstrate delivery of cargo to the ISS as part of the NASA COTS program. Details of the Falcon 9 manifest can be found at SpaceX.com.

SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of both manned and unmanned space transportation ultimately by a factor of ten.

With its Falcon line of launch vehicles, SpaceX is able to offer light (with the Falcon 1), medium and heavy lift capabilities (with the Falcon 9) to deliver spacecraft into any inclination and altitude, from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit to planetary missions.

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.

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KSC Hosts Private Jet Suborbital Pathfinder Flights
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) Apr 16, 2007
NASA's Kennedy Space Center on April 17 will host the flight of a privately operated F-104 jet aircraft on the first in a series of pathfinder test missions from the space shuttle runway. Starfighters Inc. of Clearwater, Fla., will perform the flights to help in assessing suborbital space launch trajectories from the Shuttle Landing Facility and paving the way for future commercial space tourism and research flights from the facility.

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