Monday, September 29, 2008
SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon 1 to Orbit
A. Launch of the Falcon 1 Flight 4 vehicle from Omelek Island, in the Kwajalein Atoll, 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. Liftoff occurred Sunday 28 September 2008, at 4:15 PM (PDT), 23:15 (UTC).
B. The critical stage separation sequence began about 2 minutes and 37 seconds into flight with shutdown of the Merlin first stage engine, then separation of the first and second stages, followed by ignition of the Kestrel second stage engine.
C. About nine and a half minutes after launch, the second stage engine shuts down, and the Falcon 1 becomes the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth.