A brief timeline for the key events off the Falcon 9 development is shown below the image. Amazingly the complete development of the vehicle from the first public announcement to the first orbital insertion took less than 5 years - a pretty a darn impressive feat!
- May 5, 2004 - Elon Musk testifies to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation stating that "Long term plans call for development of a heavy lift product..."
- September 8, 2005 - SpaceX formally announces the Falcon 9 describing it as being a "fully reusable heavy lift launch vehicle"
- April 12, 2007 - SpaceX announces it had completed the primary structure for its first Falcon 9 first-stage tank
- October 17, 2007 – SpaceX announces successful completion of the Critical Design Review for the first Falcon 9 / Dragon mission under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration program
- July 31, 2008 - First successful multi-engine firing test of Falcon 9 first stage
- January 2, 2010 - Successful full duration orbit insertion firing of the Falcon 9 second stage
- March 9, 2010 - First static firing test of the first stage on the launch pad
- June 1, 2010 - Successful completion of testing of the Flight Termination System
- June 4, 2010 - Falcon 9 successfully launched on the second attempt of the day