The Falcon I Launch Vehicle - Steps to and Results from the First Flight

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H. Koenigsmann; G. E. Shotwell (2007), JBIS, 60, 289-293

Refcode: 2007.60.289
Keywords: Falcon 1, launch vehicle, low cost launch

Falcon 1 was launched on March 25, 2006 from Omelek, a small island which is part of the Kwajalein Atoll of the Marshall Islands. Though the vehicle lifted off with a first stage engine fire, for the first 30 seconds the vehicle performed nominally. At T=+30 seconds, the main engine shut down. The vehicle landed 150 m downrange from the launch pad. Three days prior to the launch, a system test was conducted which included a static firing of the first stage engine to verify vehicle and pad operation, vehicle fueling and de-tanking, as well as exercising the interfaces to the Range, such as telemetry links, video and flight safety. This test was successful with no anomalies. The customer for this flight was the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the USAF under the joint USAF and DARPA Falcon Program. The objectives of the flight were to demonstrate responsive operations including rapid payload integration and collect data on the both the vehicle and the operations.

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