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Space Exploration Technologies Corporation
Ownership type private
Founded 2002, by Elon Musk
Headquarters 1310 East Grand Avenue
El Segundo , CA
Industry Aerospace
Product/Service Launch Vehicle Development

Legally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, SpaceX is a NewSpace company in the Aerospace industry.

Company Heritage

The company was founded in 2002 by the entrepreneur Elon Musk. Elon Musk was the founder of PayPal and the proceeds from that creation was used to start SpaceX.

Products and Services

  • Merlin Engine - A medium thrust LOX / Kerosene rocket motor. The propellant, of the Merlin engine, is fed via a single shaft, dual impeller turbo-pump using a gas generator cycle. The turbo-pump is also used for hydraulic power during launch. The working hydraulic fluid is the kerosine fuel, saving weight and reducing system complexity.
  • Falcon 1 - A two stage to orbit rocket using one Merlin engine on the first stage.
    • Length: 21.3 m (70 ft)
    • Width: 1.7 m (5.5 ft)
    • Mass: 38,555 kg (85 klbs)
    • Liftoff Thrust: 454 kN (102 klbf)

Historical Events

Falcon 1

  • Flight 1, failed shortly after takeoff
  • Flight 2, failure do to second stage fuel slosh
  • Flight 3, failure do to residual thrust error
  • Flight 4, reached orbit
  • Flight 5, carrying the RazakSAT satellite to orbit

Falcon 9

First Falcon 9 Launch - TBD


COTS contract with NASA

Joint Ventures and Partnerships


Future Plans

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Air Force Space Command today announced it has given its blessing for SpaceX to operate Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This may be where the first launches of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Complex 40 is the old Titan 4 launch complex on the northern end of the Cape.

Kwajalein Army Range

Future launches at the Kwajalein Army Range (Reagan Test Site) will test the Falcon 1 launch vehicle.

Wallops Island

The CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, stated Wallops Island is "arguably the best launch site in the country" to get to the International Space Station (ISS). The advantages are: rocket launches from Wallops Island limit risks to population centers, and the latitude is better aligned to the ISS orbit. This alignment with the ISS orbit requires less fuel is needed for the spacecraft to match orbits. "Wallops is better suited to service the space station than Cape Canaveral. I think Wallops is really a contender." [1]

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See Also

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