Sep 10, 2008

Falcon 9 is GO for First (Test) Flight From The Cape

(Graphic Credit SpaceX, see

As announced today, Space X has received the USAF Operational Licence for Falcon 9 launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Recent rumours suggested that the licence would not be granted due to safety issues and the proximity to other historical launch sites but once again it shows that rumours should not be listened to. In any case, it is now official. Space X will work to perform the first test flight of the newly developed Falcon 9 rocket before the end of this year.

This will mark a significant milestone on the GLXP competition as the forecasted performances make both the Falcon 9 and its evolution "Falcon 9 Heavy" both realistic candidates to launch attempts at the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP).

However, after 3 failures of Falcon 1, all attention is now focussed on the upcoming Falcon 1 launch which is clearly a critical one for SpaceX. Nobody knows what a fourth failure would mean to SpaceX but many are afraid that it would lead to the cancellation of future launch attempts.

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