October 2016 Pioneer’s 50th Anniversary

Apollo Astronaut Fred Haise

The Missile, Range and Space Pioneers

50th Anniversary Event with

Apollo Astronaut Fred Haise

Space Shuttle Astronaut and KSC Director Bob Cabana

to review the past, present and future

of the Space Pioneering

FRIDAY 21 October 2016.

at the

Courtyard Hotel is located at off A1A in Cocoa Beach, FL.

Apollo Astronaut Fred Haise
Astronaut Fred Haise

Fall 2015 Banquet

Space Pioneers Fall Event Scary Stories from the Rocket Ranch and beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT.

2015 Fall Banquet of the Missile, Space and Range Pioneers was a fun social event. SCARY STORIES FROM THE ROCKET RANCH AND BEYOND

Featured:

  • Josh Jones – Perils of the UNF Space Hardware Club

  • Roy Tharpe – Hit by a SONIC Wave from Titan I

  • Brian Mosdell – A warning in the Delta Blockhouse…”This is going to be BAD!”

  • Greg Devlin – Running from a Titan II, literally

September / October 2015

Space Pioneers Fall Event Scary Stories from the Rocket Ranch and beyond.

Fun Fall Space Pioneers Banquet “Scary Stories from the Rocket Ranch … and Beyond

Space Pioneers Fall Event Scary Stories from the Rocket Ranch and beyond.

 

Fall Banquet of the Missile, Space and Range Pioneers promises to be a fun social event that you won’t want to miss right before Halloween. SCARY STORIES FROM THE ROCKET RANCH AND BEYOND at the Courtyard by by Marriott October 30th. Mark your calendar now and watch for more details.

Spring 2015 Banquet

Pioneers’ Spring Banquet in conjunction with the 43rd SPACE CONGRESS was a big success.  Great presentation and enjoyable evening.

“Developing the Global Center for Commercial Astronaut Training” presented by Brienna Henwood, NASTAR

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 5:30 PM Social 7:00 PM Dinner

The Radisson Resort at the Port 8701 Astronaut Blvd., Cape Canaveral, FL, 32920

Richard Branson Brienna Henwood
Richard Branson – NASTAR Commercial Astronaut Training
NASTAR Facility
NASTAR Facility

MORE INFORMATION

Brienna Henwood
Brienna Henwood, NASTAR

Keynote Address – Developing the Global Center for Commercial Astronaut Training. Presented by Ms. Brienna Henwood, Executive Director of Space Training & Research, The National Aerospace Training & Research (NASTAR) Center: As Executive Director of Space Training and Research at the National Aerospace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center in Philadelphia, PA, Brienna Henwood has lead the company from infancy into an internationally recognized, FAA approved, global center for commercial astronaut training. Brienna has developed, managed, and conducted over eight (8) dozen courses and trained over 450 future astronauts for space to date; including passengers for Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, and Space Expedition Corporation’s XCor Lynx, in addition to scientists, teachers, and students. Brienna has a lifelong passion for exploration, travel, and health/fitness, and is an accomplished Marine Biologist, Astronaut Trainer, Certified Fitness Instructor, Published Researcher, Student Pilot, Master SCUBA Diver, and PR & Communications Executive.

Cassidy Chan
Cassidy Chan, Senior at Florida Institute of Technology

Student Presentation – Mr. Cassidy Chan Senior at Florida Institute of Technology in with a dual major in mechanical and Aerospace Engineering: Cassidy is the lead systems engineer for Time Capsule to Mars (TC2M), a student-led project to be the first private mission to Mars. The team includes FIT students Robert Curtain, Juliette Bido, Brianna Tillman and Isaac Spence. From Boston, Cassidy has had internships at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Cannon Design, and Norcross Corporation. For further information, contact Bill Allen at billallen@allenctw.com or (407) 456-3139 ***********************************************************************************

March 2015

Pioneers’ Spring Banquet in conjunction with the 43rd SPACE CONGRESS

NASTAR Facility
NASTAR Facility

“Developing the Global Center for Commercial Astronaut Training”  presented by Brienna Henwood, NASTAR

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 5:30 PM Social 7:00 PM Dinner

Richard Branson Brienna Henwood
Richard Branson – NASTAR Commercial Astronaut Training

The Radisson Resort at the Port 8701 Astronaut Blvd., Cape Canaveral, FL, 32920

October 2014

Missile, Range and Space Pioneers partner with Air Force Association for exciting fall dinner event!

 

Cape Canaveral, FL – Days of Future Past will be the theme of the Fall Banquet sponsored by the Missile, Space and Range Pioneers in conjunction with the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Air Force Association.

The Dinner will feature presentations by University of North Florida Engineering Senior Chelsea Partridge about her team’s CubeSat project; Hugh Harris, Former Director, Public Affairs Office, at Kennedy Space Center with an inside look at Challenger and a Keynote Address by Russell Romanella, former Retired Director, NASA Safety and Mission Assurance about lessons learned that help NASA head lead boldly into the future with Commercial Crew and Orion.

The Spring Banquet is set for Saturday 1 November 2014 and will held at Courtyard by Marriott, located off A1A in Cocoa Beach, FL.  The event is open to the public.  The Banquet will include a sit down dinner and cash bar.  Social hour starts at 6PM with dinner served at 7PM.  Seating is limited and tickets are available now.

More on our 2014 Fall Dinner Presentors:

Russ Romanella

Keynote Address: NASA – Exploration for Our Future Where We Are and Where We Are Heading. Presented by Mr. Russell Romanella, Retired Director, NASA Safety and Mission Assurance. In this timely address, Mr. Romanella explores the current Human and Robotic Exploration Missions within NASA, where we are and where we are heading now that the Space Shuttle is retired. He explores the role of the Space Station program as well as exploration of the solar system and beyond including Mars, Saturn, the asteroid belt, and NASA’s plan to return to the Moon and on to Mars.

Hugh Harris

Hugh Harris, Former Director, Kennedy Space Center Public Affairs Offic will also provide an inside look at the story of the Challenger tragedy as only an insider can. His recently published e-book, Challenger: An American Tragedy: The Inside Story from Launch Control, tells the whole story of the tragedy from by-the-second accounts of the spacecraft’s launch and a comprehensive overview of the ensuing investigation.

 

Chelsea Partridge

Student Presentation: Ms. Chelsea Partridge, Mechanical Engineering Senior, University of North Florida. Chelsea, and her fellow “Orbital Ospreys” are currently designing a CubeSat to study the effects of pharmaceuticals on bone density in the space environment. The team flewin zero-gravity this summer to test a prototype of the satellite’s fluidsystem through NASA’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program. Chelsea will present the background of the project and review the team’s research, goals, and zero-gravity

Fall 2014 Banquet

Cape Canaveral, FL – Days of Future Past will be the theme of the Fall Banquet sponsored by the Missile, Space and Range Pioneers in conjunction with the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Air Force Association.

The Dinner will feature presentations by University of North Florida Engineering Senior Chelsea Partridge about her team’s CubeSat project; Hugh Harris, Former Director, Public Affairs Office, at Kennedy Space Center with an inside look at Challenger and a Keynote Address by Russell Romanella, former Retired Director, NASA Safety and Mission Assurance about lessons learned that help NASA head lead boldly into the future with Commercial Crew and Orion. The Spring Banquet is set for Saturday 1 November 2014 and will held at Courtyard by Marriott, located off A1A in Cocoa Beach, FL. The event is open to the public. The Banquet will include a sit down dinner and cash bar. Social hour starts at 6PM with dinner served at 7PM. Seating is limited and tickets are available now.

More on our 2014 Fall Dinner Presentors:


Mr. Russell Romanella
Mr. Russell Romanella

Keynote Address: NASA – Exploration for Our Future Where We Are and Where We Are Heading. Presented by Mr. Russell Romanella, Retired Director, NASA Safety and Mission Assurance. In this timely address, Mr. Romanella explores the current Human and Robotic Exploration Missions within NASA, where we are and where we are heading now that the Space Shuttle is retired. He explores the role of the Space Station program as well as exploration of the solar system and beyond including Mars, Saturn, the asteroid belt, and NASA’s plan to return to the Moon and on to Mars.


Hugh Harris
Hugh Harris

Hugh Harris, Former Director, Kennedy Space Center Public Affairs Office will also provide an inside look at the story of the Challenger tragedy as only an insider can. His recently published e-book, Challenger: An American Tragedy: The Inside Story from Launch Control, tells the whole story of the tragedy from by-the-second accounts of the spacecraft’s launch and a comprehensive overview of the ensuing investigation.


 

Ms. Chelsea Partridge
Ms. Chelsea Partridge

Student Presentation: Ms. Chelsea Partridge, Mechanical Engineering Senior, University of North Florida. Chelsea, and her fellow “Orbital Ospreys” are currently designing a CubeSat to study the effects of pharmaceuticals on bone density in the space environment. The team flewin zero-gravity this summer to test a prototype of the satellite’s fluidsystem through NASA’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program. Chelsea will present the background of the project and review the team’s research, goals, and zero-gravity


Why people join the Pioneers

1) Networking opportunities 2) Seeing what opportunities and challenges are in industry 3) Giving back and helping up and coming engineers 4) Social opportunities with like-minded people 5) Oportunity to meet and hear from Industry Leaders first hand

Are You Eligible to be a Pioneer?

An applicant should be currently engaged in or have been engaged in missile, space or range activities. These involve those functions that culminate in a test or launch program at DOD or NASA facilities in Florida and in their off-shore and down-range stations. OR Anyone who is in a direct or indirect support role or is an advocate of space in present or future applications may apply for membership. CLICK HERE TO JOIN

October 4, 2012 – 15th Edition

Missile, Space and Range Pioneers

Past, Present and Future

Today’s Explorers Tomorrow’s Pioneers

MSRP President’s Message

I am honored to accept the role of President of this great organization this year. It is a time of tremendous evolution here on the Space Coast. We are seeing many new Pioneers in our neck of the woods as a myriad of new commercial aerospace companies begin to move here. In the years ahead, we will see fantastic new vehicles do things we never imagined only a few years ago.

We will see a glimpse of things to come at our semi-annual Pioneers Dinner on November 16, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Cocoa Beach Hilton. Our Keynote speaker is Mr. Ronald D. Jones, Rocket Crafters’ Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer.

I hope you will join me in welcoming our new neighbors as they Pioneer the future. It promises to be amazing!

Bill Allen, President

The semi-annual Pioneers Dinner will be held on November 16, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Cocoa Beach Hilton. Our Keynote speaker is Mr. Ronald D. Jones, Rocket Crafters’ Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer.

Ron Jones is considered an expert in the use of additive fabrication technology and Direct-Digital Manufacturing (DDM) methodologies for designing and manufacturing aerospace structures and advanced hybrid rocket motors. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and papers on advanced composites and hybrid rocket propulsion. Rocket Crafters is developing two breakthrough technologies, which combined will enable the average person the opportunity to one-day travel to space safely and affordably.

Mr. Jones has over 30 years of combined manufacturing and research experience. A prolific inventor, Ron specializes in composites fabrication automation systems and advanced hybrid rocket propulsion. The unifying theme to all of his inventions and interests relate to the use of additive fabrication technology to develop 21st century products of unprecedented value. He is the inventor or co-inventor of over a half dozen inventions with four patents, granted or pending in his name.

Mr. Jones’ current research work involves the development of multifunctional polymers and sandwich structured composites for specialized military applications; and the development of D-DART™, a next-generation hybrid rocket propulsion technology. D-DART is considered by many in the space industry to be both revolutionary and industry disruptive. Ron has extensively studied the emerging Commercial Space Transport market and its potential transformational benefits to society. He is an outspoken proponent of private space travel.

Mr. Jones studed Pysicis Engineering at Western Kentucky University. He earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Experimental Psychology from Souteastern Louisiana University and is a graduate of the Naval Aviation Officer Candidate Shool, Pensacola, Florida. Ron is a former Naval Flight Officer and currently holds an FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate. Ron is also a certified facilitatory for Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and Principle Centered Leadership.

Rocket Crafters, Inc. (“Rocket Crafters” or “RCI”) was founded in November 2010 to develop and commercialize a family of synergistic and interrelated aerospace products for the Commercial Space and Military Rocket & Guided Missile markets. The Utah-based company holds licenses for advanced hybrid rocket and aerospace composite technologies, as well as proprietary hybrid rocket design and analysis software. Rocket Crafters has announced plans to design, test and manufacture rocket propulsion products and dual-propulsion flight vehicles in Titusville, Florida.

The D-DART™ next-generation hybrid rocket motors are the centerpiece of the company’s planned product offering. Rocket Crafters’ rocket propulsion systems are being developed and engineered for integration with a broad-range of rockets, missiles, launch vehicles, and spacecraft.

These propulsion systems are throttle capable, volume producible, affordable, consistent burning, high-performing, cluster-capable, and safe to manufacture, transport, and operate. The competitive advantages of these revolutionary hybrid rocket motor technology have been validated through a series of ground-based hot fire tests.

The company’s Spacecraft Division has embarked upon an exciting development program of privately funded, dual propulsion – jet and hybrid rocket powered trainers that will create the world’s first opportunity for civilian pilots to get stick-n-rudder training in high-performance rocket powered aircraft and suborbital capable space planes.

Rocket Crafters will introduce a primary level trainer capable of teaching conventional-to-rocket powered flight transition before the end of 2012 and begin delivery of these jet/rocket powered aircraft to flight schools and aviation colleges beginning in 2013. Much of the design/engineering for these advanced sub-orbit capable space plane has been completed. The company anticipates the vehicle’s first flight before the end of 2014.

The company recently announced plans to start operations in temporary facilities at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville. The company has plans to move operations from Utah and build a 33-acre complex in Titusville by 2014, housing a workforce of over 1,300 by 2017.

Artist concept of a new breed of sub-orbital ship, being designed and built by Rocket Crafters, a company moving into Titusville.

Fall Keynote Speaker: Ronald D. Jones, Rocket Crafters’ President and Chief Technology Officer

October 18, 2011 – 13th Edition

Dream_Chaser_Space_System

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MSRP President’s Message

Dear MSRP Members,

 Dream_Chaser_Space_System
Dream Chaser Space System

Our annual meeting on November 18th marks the completion of my two year term and I will turn over the control of the Pioneers to the new President. These two years have been challenging.

Earlier this year, we surveyed the membership on their vision for MSRP. Receiving a strong response, most members surveyed enjoy attending functions from time to time but would like someone else to run the club and plan and organize events. One idea put forward was to develop a closer relationship with the Florida Institute of Technology. At last year’s Fall Banquet, we had nearly twenty students from the Florida Tech Rocket Club attend to learn about SpaceX, our keynote speaker. So, we formed a committee to see how we could strengthen our relationship FIT. The result is an agreement for the club to fund two student projects and to hold our fall event at the Florida Tech campus in Melbourne.

I believe a worthwhile purpose like this will give Pioneers everywhere another reason to become new members and participate in MSRP. Our renewed relationship with Florida Tech promises many opportunities for our Pioneers to engage with students and help cultivate America’s future pioneers. If you like what you see I hope you will help us get the word out. I am excited about this renewed direction and purpose for the Pioneers. Please come out to our Fall Event and meet the students, learn about their projects and what is going on Florida Tech.

Finally, I would like to thank our hardworking officers and board of directors. John Hesterman and Bill Bancroft are retiring from the board this year, after serving for many years. Both have worked tirelessly for the Pioneers along with the rest of the directors and all of them seldom miss a meeting. So, many thanks to John and Bill, as well as Frank, Don, Doug, Hank, Chuck and Lee for the strong support and leadership you have given the club.

Jim Lewis, President


Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser

Dream Chaser Orbiter
Dream Chaser Orbiter

Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser Space System is designed as a low-cost, safe commercial crew and cargo transportation to and from low Earth orbit, including the International Space Station. The Dream Chaser vehicle is a reusable, composite lifting body spacecraft based on a former NASA design – the HL-20 crew vehicle. The spacecraft will launch vertically and land horizontally on a conventional runway. The system, capable of carrying seven crew and critical cargo is planned to enter operational service by 2015.

The Dream Chaser, which is now under full production, is designed as a piloted or autonomous spacecraft travelling to and from low earth orbit and returning safely to the Earth without excessive deceleration or landing forces. The spacecraft design includes a built-in pusher launch escape system. Additionally, the reaction control system thrusters are designed to use ethanol as fuel. As such, the vehicle uses no hazardous materials, so it can be approached immediately after landing. The vehicle experiences less than 1.5 g on re-entry and can fly autonomously if needed to. Its thermal protection system (TPS) is a tile with an ablative coating that is being worked on with NASA’s Ames center. This approach reduces risk to deconditioned crew and delicate science experiment return samples through a low G landing on a runway.

SNC plans to launch Dream Chaser on a man-rated United Launch Alliance Atlas V 402 launch vehicle. The spacecraft will use on-board propulsion utilizing SNC’s proprietary hybrid rocket motor technology.

Dream Chaser with  Space Station
Dream Chaser with
Space Station

In June 2011, Sierra Nevada announced completion of two significant milestones as part of the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) Program. Under the CCDev2 program, SNC will conduct multiple spacecraft hardware milestones and other development activities over the next year, culminating in a systemlevel Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and preparation for atmospheric flight test of the Dream Chaser.

In June 2011, Sierra Nevada announced completion of two significant milestones as part of the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) Program. Under the CCDev2 program, SNC will conduct multiple spacecraft hardware milestones and other development activities over the next year, culminating in a systemlevel Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and preparation for atmospheric flight test of the Dream Chaser.

The first milestone completed under the CCDev2 program was a Systems Requirement Review (SRR) that validated requirements based on NASA’s draft Commercial Crew Program Requirements. All the requirements were approved and are being used to guide the design of the Dream Chaser to ensure it meets the pending NASA certification requirements. The second milestone was completed two weeks after Milestone 1. This milestone was a review of the selection of the improved airfoil fin shape to be used on the Dream Chaser. This new fin will improve the handling qualities of the spacecraft as it flies in the atmosphere on return from space to a gentle runway landing. Wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics analyses were used to complete the fin selection milestone work.”


NETWORKING EVENT – DECEMBER 7, 2011

On December 7th at 4 p.m., the Missile Space and Range Pioneers are co-sponsoring an afternoon social at Fish Lips at Port Canaveral with the National Space Club of Florida. Come join us for this networking event that will bring the next generation of Space Leaders together. The cost is $5 and you get food, drinks and surprises! See you there!


Supporting Future Rocket and Engineering Pioneers

MSRP Board of Directors meet with Ms. Gretchen Sauerman, Florida Tech’s Director of Corporate Giving
MSRP Board of Directors meet with Ms. Gretchen Sauerman, Florida Tech’s Director of Corporate Giving

Those of you who attended the Missile, Space and Range Pioneers (MSRP) 2010 Fall Rocket Reunion may remember that our attendance was increased by some 18 or so FIT students who attended this banquet event. They were there for two reasons – first, they were interested in rocketry like all our Pioneers’ members, and second, they were there to hear our featured speaker Scott Henderson’s presentation on Space X’s activities at the Cape and for potential job opportunities with this company. Their presence was important since the Pioneers event attendance has declined over the past three years.

The FIT students’ presence at this event caused your Pioneers Board members to consider some type of interaction with FIT. A special committee of Board members initially met with the FIT’s Dr. Dan Kirk, the head of FIT’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering to investigate how MSRP might best support the FIT engineering students. In the last three Pioneers Board Meetings, discussions with FIT representatives refined our support initiative. MSRP will support two student aerospace engineering projects with total funding of $5000 for the current student year. First, the Pioneers will provide $4000 to the FIT student engineering team Lunabotics Project. This team is entering NASA’s Lunabotics mining competition whose purpose is to design and build a remote controlled or autonomous lunabot. The lunabot or lunar robot must be capable of collecting a minimum of 10 kilograms of lunar stimulant and depositing it in a raised bin within a 15 min. time limit while navigating around obstacles including craters, rocks and small hills.

FIT-StudentsSecond the Pioneers will provide $1000 to two student teams to help support their design and launch of two Hybrid Rocket and Motor Systems – one to achieve a precise altitude of 2000 feet and the other to achieve the maximum altitude with a specific hybrid motor thrust. The purpose of these two projects is to increase the interest of lower division students in rocketry and research. These teams of 13 and 15 students will compete in the FL Space Grant Consortium/NE FL Association of Rocketry Hybrid Motor High Power Rocket Competition. In the past five years, the FIT student teams have taken 1st place in at least on or both of the completion objectives.

The student teams will give a brief status report on their projects at our 2011 Fall Rocket Reunion which will be held on the FIT campus. So come and hear how the future Pioneers in rocketry and aerospace research are doing. Both the student teams and the MSRP need your support.

October 15, 2010 – 13th Edition

SpaceX Launch Control Center

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SpaceX’s Scott Henderson – Featured Speaker – Message from MSRP President

Rocket Reunion Fall Banquet Will Honor SpaceX And Falcon 9

SpaceX Launch Control Center
SpaceX Launch Control Center

The Fall Banquet of the Pioneers will honor the SpaceX Falcon 9 team at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). Plan to join us. This Fall event is set for Friday 12 November 2010


 

MSRP President’s Message

About six months has passed since our Spring Newsletter and the last Gathering of the Pioneers. The Spring Event paid tribute to the USAF MOL program and was a great success. I would like to thank all of the people that worked hard to make that event happen, especially our four presenters that really made the evening. If you missed the spring event you really missed a wonderful night.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle

While the MOL Program dated back the 1960s, the MSRP Fall Banquet will pay tribute to a much newer Space Pioneer: SpaceX and the Falcon 9. While SpaceX is new, much of their launch team here at the Cape are veteran Space Pioneers. I know, like the Spring MOL tribute, this too will be a very informative and fun evening for our Pioneers. It also demonstrates that we continue to have new generations of Space Pioneers and that is exciting.

So, if there are new Space Pioneers out there, and obviously there are, shouldn’t they be joining the Missile, Space and Range Pioneers? To me, it is just as obvious: YES THEY SHOULD.

Therefore, please consider this letter from the President of the MSRP as open invitation to all the new Space and Range Pioneers to join the club. And if you are already a member, please pass the word to those that are not, and ask them to join us. The goal of the Pioneers is simply to provide an opportunity for people associated with missile, space and range activities to meet socially and renew acquaintances. There is lot to learn from the past and there much to be excited about the future. Space is a big frontier and because of that there will always be more Space Pioneers. Jim Lewis – President MSRP


 Scott Henderson – SpaceX Director & Former 45th Launch Group Commander

Col Scott Henderson, USAF(Ret)
Col Scott Henderson, USAF(Ret)

Scott Henderson – SpaceX Director & Former 45th Launch Group Commander

Scott Henderson joined SpaceX as Director, Mission Assurance, after 25 years in the United States Air Force (USAF), an experience that began by earning a degree in Astronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Academy. His career in the USAF included assignments in a wide variety of high level space operations and acquisition positions. A certified acquisition professional, Henderson has also earned a masters degree in Engineering Management from the Florida Institute of Technology and was a National Defense Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Prior to SpaceX, Henderson held the position of Commander with the 45th Launch Group at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. His responsibilities in this position focused on Department of Defense (DoD), civil, and commercial space launch-related activities.


SpaceX Program Overview

In an era when most technology based products follow a path of ever-increasing capability and reliability while simultaneously reducing costs, launch vehicles today are little changed from those of 40 years ago. SpaceX aims to change this paradigm by developing a family of launch vehicles which will ultimately reduce the cost and increase the reliability of space access by a factor of ten. Coupled with the newly emerging market for private and commercial space transport, this new model will re-ignite humanity’s efforts to explore and develop Space.

Falcon 9 Vehicle on SLC-40
Falcon 9 Vehicle on SLC-40

Our company is based on the philosophy that simplicity, low-cost, and reliability can go hand in hand. By eliminating the traditional layers of management, internally, and sub-contractors, externally, we reduce our costs while speeding decision making and delivery. Likewise, by keeping the vast majority of manufacturing in house, we reduce our costs, keep tighter control of quality, and ensure a tight feedback loop between the design and manufacturing teams. And by focusing on simple, proven designs with a primary focus on reliability, we reduce the costs associated with complex systems operating at the margin.Established in 2002 by Elon Musk , the founder of PayPal and the Zip2 Corporation, SpaceX has already developed two brand new launch vehicles, established an impressive launch manifest, and been awarded COTS funding by NASA to demonstrate delivery and return of cargo to the International Space Station. Supported by this order book and Mr. Musk’s substantial resources, SpaceX is on an extremely sound financial footing as we move towards volume commercial launches.

Although drawing upon a rich history of prior launch vehicle and engine programs, SpaceX is privately developing the Dragon crew and cargo capsule and the Falcon family of rockets from the ground up, including main and upper stage engines, the cryogenic tank structure, avionics, guidance & control software and ground support equipment.

With the Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy launch vehicles, SpaceX is able to offer a full spectrum of light, medium and heavy lift launch capabilities to our customers. We are able to deliver spacecraft into any inclination and altitude, from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit to planetary missions. The Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy are the only US launch vehicles with true engine out reliability. They are also designed such that all stages are reusable, making them the world’s first fully reusable launch vehicles. And our Dragon crew and cargo capsule, currently under development, will revolutionize access to space by providing efficient and reliable transport of crew and cargo to the ISS and other LEO destinations.

Our design and manufacturing facilities are located near the Los Angeles International airport, leveraging the deep and rich aerospace talent pool available in Southern California . Our extensive propulsion and structural test facilities are located in Central Texas. We currently have launch complexes available in Vandenberg and Kwajalein Island , and in April 2007 we were granted use of and began developing Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral.The Falcon launch vehicle family is designed to provide breakthrough advances in reliability, cost, flight environment and time to launch. The primary design driver is and will remain reliability. We recognize that nothing is more important than getting our customer’s spacecraft safely to its intended destination.

Like Falcon 1, Falcon 9 is a two stage, liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) powered launch vehicle. It uses the same engines, structural architecture (with a wider diameter), avionics and launch system.