|SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.2
June 04, 2018
1C-powered Falcon 9
Falcon 9 v1.1
v1.2. Flight Log
Stage Serial Number Log
First "Full Thrust" First
Stage Hot Fire Test on September 21, 2015
During January, 2015, Martin
Halliwell, SES chief technical officer, revealed that SpaceX
was introducing a higher-thrust modification of its Merlin
1D engine, with about 20% more thrust, and that SES was
deciding whether or not to be the first to fly with the new
engine. The company was thinking about skipping its
then-planned Spring 2015 launch slot to allow someone else
to fly the "full-thrust" engine first.
That is how the world learned about plans for an upgraded
Falcon 9, eventually to be known as Falcon 9 v1.2.
Elon Musk made it official on March 1, 2015, when he stated
that Falcon 9 upgrades were planned that would allow for
first stage landings during geosynchronous transfer
missions. The upgrades would include a 15% increase in
thrust, the use of "deep cryogenic", or "densified", liquid
oxygen, and a 10% second stage tank volume increase.
Mr. Musk did not name the upgraded rocket at that time, so
industry observers began identifying it as "Falcon 9 v1.2".
Comparison of Falcon 9
Versions 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2 with Estimated Dimensions
On March 9, Aviation Week
& Space Technology reported that SES had decided, after
all, to be the first "full thrust" Falcon 9 customer. SES 9,
a communications satellite, would launched to geosynchronous
transfer orbit by the new rocket during the second or third
quarter of 2015. SES CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh announced the
On March 17, 2015, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell offered
more details about the upgraded rocket. She said that the
company had gone back to certify extra performance from
Merlin 1D. She said "I don't know what we're going to call
it. Enhanced Falcon 9, Falcon 9 v1.2, Full-Performance
Falcon 9" - indicating that the company still had not
decided on a name.
She said that the upgraded rocket would provide "about a 30%
increase in performance, maybe a little more", while also
allowing the first stage to be landed on a downrange ship
platform during GTO missions. The payload mass cutoff
point for first stage return was not announced.
Without first stage return the new rocket may be able to
boost more than 6 tonnes to GTO.
Shotwell also said that the upgraded Falcon 9 first stage
would essentially be used as a side booster for Falcon
Heavy, while the Falcon Heavy core would be a different
The announced upgrade meant that Falcon 9 would now lift off
on 694 tonnes of sea level thrust rather than the previous
600 tonnes. Second stage Merlin 1D Vacuum thrust would
increase to at least 95 tonnes force. The second stage
engine would also use a longer nozzle to improve specific
impulse, requiring a stretch of the interstage.
of Falcon 9 v1.2 on Rebuilt LC 39A at Kennedy Space Center
During the summer of 2015,
SpaceX continued to send mixed signals about the upgraded
rocket's name. One presentation by SpaceX during the summer
of 2015 identified it as "Falcon 9 Upgrade". During
September, 2015 the company began calling it "Falcon 9 v1.1
Full Thrust". By early 2016 that name had been dropped,
apparently in favor of "Falcon 9 v1.2", which was the name
filed with the FAA.
A test program involving "full thrust" Merlin engines was
completed at McGregor, Texas during the summer. Meanwhile,
the first "Full Thrust" first stage - serial production
number 21 - departed the SpaceX Hawthorne, California
factory at the end of August and arrived at McGregor a few
On September 8, 2015, the
stage was erected at the new ground-level test stand, the
first stage to installed there. The stand is equipped with a
below-grade flame trench. This stand, which should reduce
noise imposed on neighboring communities during hot fire
tests, had been completed in 2013. It is also expected
to be used for Falcon Heavy core hot fire testing.
On September 21, the stage performed a 15 second test
firing. A full duration test was performed on November 19,
2015. The second stage was tested on November 22.
The first stage arrived at
Cape Canaveral during the morning of November 20. On
December 18, 2015, the first stage, topped by the second
stage and integrated Orbcomm G2 payload, completed a brief
static firing at SLC 40 after two days of scrubbed attempts
that appeared to be ground-system related, as the test shook
down new super-chilling equipment at the pad.
As the stage entered testing,
two launch sites were being prepared to handle both it and
Falcon Heavy. Space Launch Complex (SLC) 4 East at
Vandenberg AFB underwent modifications that included changes
to its erector transporter and the construction of a
propellant densification plant. Launch Complex 39A at
the Kennedy Space Center was being totally rebuilt for
Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 v1.2, with a new horizontal
processing hangar built on the former crawlerway at the base
of the pad and a new pair of railroad tracks leading up to
the launch pad itself.
Falcon 9 Launches, Lands
SpaceX returned its Falcon 9
to service on December 22, 2015 when it boosted 11 Orbcomm
satellites into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida. For the
first time, a Falcon 9 first stage boosted back and landed
near its launch site. The landing took place at Landing Zone
1 at the former site of Launch Complex 13.
The two-stage kerosene/LOX rocket, sidelined since a June
launch failure, returned in upgraded form with higher thrust
engines, a stretched second stage and interstage, and
supercooled, condensed propellant. The improved rocket,
identified initially by SpaceX as a "Falcon 9 v1.1 Full
Thrust" but later as "Falcon 9 v1.2", was the 20th Falcon 9
to fly and the 21st produced.
Liftoff from SLC 40 took place at 01:29 UTC. The now 69.799
meter (229 foot) tall rocket, about 1.524 meters (5 feet)
taller than v1.1, rose on 694 metric tons (1.53 million
pounds) of thrust produced by its nine Merlin 1D first stage
engines. Previous Falcon 9 v1.1 first stages produced 600
metric tons (1.323 million pounds) of thrust.
F9-21 First Stage Lands at LZ-1
About 10 Minutes After Liftoff
The first stage fired for 2
minutes 20 seconds, separating four seconds later. The
second stage ignited its improved Merlin Vacuum engine at 2
minutes 35 seconds to begin a nearly eight minute burn to
reach a roughly 620 x 660 km x 47 deg orbit.
The eleven 172 kg Orbcomm satellites separated in sequence
from their center-mounted support pillar beginning 15
minutes and ending 20 minutes after liftoff.
Meanwhile, the first stage performed a roughly 30 second
boostback burn beginning about 3 minutes 50 seconds after
launch and a 20 second reentry burn about 8 minutes after
launch, both using three engines. A final, roughly 32 second
single-engine landing burn using only the center engine took
place just before the landing, about 10 minutes after
The stage landed near the
center of the circular landing zone. A small fire
burned at the base of the stage for at least a half-minute
after the center Merlin 1D engine shut down.
Stage Shortly After Landing
After spacecraft deployment,
the upgraded second stage Merlin Vacuum engine restarted
both to test its restart capability for future missions and
to deorbit the stage in the Southern Ocean south of
After the mission, Elon Musk
announced that the recovered first stage would be used, if
possible, for propellant loading and static fire testing at
the rebuilt LC 39 Pad A. SpaceX had no plans to re-fly
the stage. The stage was moved to the new Horizontal
Integration Facility at LC 39A a couple of days after its
landing, where it was photographed and inspected.
During week of January 12, the
stage was unexpectedly moved to SLC 40. A crane was
used to erected it on the stand rather than the usual
erector. On January 14, an unannounced static fire
attempt was made and aborted after 2-3 seconds when one of
the outer engine's thrust fluctuated. After the test,
Elon Musk tweeted that the engine would be borescoped and
that it might have ingested something. The stage
subsequently returned to LC 39A.
Launch Complex 13 supported 51
Atlas missile and Atlas Agena orbital launches from
1958-1978. The site's mobile service tower was demolished in
2005 and its blockhouse in 2012. SpaceX subsequently built
an 86 meter (282 foot) diameter landing pad centered on the
spot where the original Atlas missile service tower parked
Falcon 9 Launches SES 9
SpaceX's second Falcon 9 v1.2 with full thrust Merlin 1D
engines boosted the SES 9 communications satellite into
geosynchronous transfer orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida
on March 4, 2016. Liftoff from SLC 40 took place at 23:35
UTC. The 5,271 kg Boeing BSS-702HP satellite separated about
31 minutes 24 seconds later, after two burns by the second
stage Merlin 1D Vacuum engine.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted that SES 9 had been inserted
into a transfer orbit with a 40,600 km apogee. It was the
first Falcon 9 Upgrade geosynchronous transfer orbit
mission. The second stage used a minimum residual shutdown
to provide as much orbital energy as possible, with a target
of 290 km x at least 39,300 km x 28 deg. SpaceX modified
earlier plans to aim for a 26,000 km apogee at the behest of
The insertion change made first stage recovery very
unlikely, due to its extra velocity. SpaceX announced
before the launch that it did not expect a successful
recovery. A boost-back burn was not used. The
first stage only performed a three-engine reentry burn
and a never-before-attempted three-engine final landing
burn, but did not survive its high-speed attempt to land on
a converted barge positioned more than 600 km downrange. The
stage impacted the barge, punching a hole through the steel
deck. It was the fourth failed barge landing attempt
by a Falcon 9 first stage.
The success followed scrubbed launch attempts on February 24
and 25 due to supercooled LOX temperature issues, a T-0
abort on February 28 caused by a low thrust detection in one
engine, and a cancelled try on March 1 resulting from
excessive high altitude winds. Prior to the launch attempts,
the first stage performed a brief static fire test on
Falcon 9 Launches CRS 8,
First Stage Lands at Sea
The 23rd Falcon 9 launch
vehicle, the third upgraded v1.2 variant, successfully
orbited the Dragon 10 spacecraft on NASA's CRS 8
International Space Station cargo hauling mission on April
8, 2016. After performing the initial mission boost, the
rocket's first stage accomplished the first successful
landing on a floating platform - the company's converted
landing barge - positioned about 300 km northeast of the
Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 40 launch site. It was
the fifth such attempt.
Liftoff took place at 20:43 UTC after no delays or
scrubs. Dragon was targeted toward a 200 x 360 km x
51.6 deg orbit. The spacecraft carried 3,136 kg of cargo,
including the 1,413 kg Bigelow Expandable Activity Module
(BEAM) experiment in the unpressurized trunk section. At
more than 8.6 tonnes, the combined Dragon and cargo mass was
the heaviest-payload yet launched by a Falcon 9.
First Stage After Landing
During its descent, the first
stage perform a three-engine boost-back burn, followed by a
final single-engine landing burn. Landing took place
about 8 minutes 35 seconds after liftoff.
The F9-23 first stage had
performed a static firing at SLC 40 on April 5. After
its successful static testing at McGregor, Texas during
February, a ground equipment failure damaged multiple
engines during a non-propulsive test. The engines were
repaired or replaced without causing significant delay to
the launch schedule.
Dragon arrived at ISS on April
The landing platform with the
first stage returned to Port Canaveral during the pre-dawn
hours of April 12, 2016. During the day, a crane
picked up the stage from the barge and placed it onto a work
stand on the dock. After several days of processing
which included leg removal, the stage was moved to the
Launch Complex 39A HIF on April 19.
New Falcon 9 Performance Numbers Revealed
On April 30, 2016, SpaceX
released new performance data for an improved Falcon 9
v1.2. The two-stage rocket gross mass increased to
about 564 tonnes, not including payload, and its liftoff
thrust rose to 775.65 tonnes as Merlin 1D thrust was pushed
upward again to 190,000 pounds (86.183 tonnes) at sea
level. For the first time, the company gave solid
payload performance numbers for this version. They
were: 22.8 tonnes to LEO x 28.5 deg, 8.3 tonnes to GTO
x 27 deg, and 5.5 tonnes GTO x 27 deg when the first stage
was recovered downrange. The cost for a flight with
first stage recovery was listed at $62 million.
By early 2017 it had become
apparent that SpaceX referred to this improved version as
"Falcon 9 Block 5". Block 5 was designed to
perform Dragon 2 Commercial Crew launches for NASA, but
would also apparently be used for unmanned satellite
launches. Elon Musk announced that the first Block 5
launch would occur by the end of 2017.
It had also become known that
the company was, as of late 2016/early 2017, still flying
"Falcon 9 Block 3", a Falcon 9 v1.2
production block. The identity of "Block 4" was, as of early
March 2017, unknown outside the halls of SpaceX.
Falcon 9 and AMOS 6
Destroyed in Pre Launch Test
Screen Capture from
USLaunchReport.com Video of F9-29 Explosion
A Falcon 9 rocket and its $200
million AMOS 6 satellite payload were destroyed during a
pre-launch propellant loading and hot fire test exercise at
Cape Canveral on September 1, 2016. The test was
planned to assure all was ready for a September 3 launch
that would have placed 5.5 tonne AMOS 6 in geosynchronous
Early reports indicated that
propellant loading was nearly completed and the test was
about eight minutes away when a powerful explosion destroyed
the rocket and satellite at about 9:07 AM Eastern
Time. A series of smaller explosions occurred during
the following minutes as a fire raged at SLC 40 and a large
plume of black smoke drifted across the Florida space
center. It was the largest pad explosion in the
history of Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center.
A few hours after the
explosion, Elon Musk tweeted that the failure appeared to
have begun at the second stage liquid oxygen tank. SLC
40 was reported to have been heavily damaged, knocking it
out of service. A day after the failure, SpaceX
announced that East Coast launch campaigns would move to
Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 Pad A, which at the
time was planned to be ready to support operations beginning
in November, 2016.
The AMOS 6 launch would have
been the 29th Falcon launch, and the ninth by a Falcon 9
v1.2 variant. The AMOS 6 first stage was test fired at
McGregor, Texas on August 5, 2016 and arrived at Cape
Canaveral some time after August 21.
SpaceX subsequently determined
that the cause was sudden overpressurization of the second
stage liquid oxygen (LOX) tank due to the failure of a
composite overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) containing
pressurized helium that was mounted inside the LOX
tank. Improper control of subcooled-LOX temperatures
may have been involved. Elon Musk suggested that LOX
froze within or beneath the composite overwrapping, causing
loss of COPV structural integrity. SpaceX performed
cryogenic loading tests, with some leading to failure, of
small test vessels at its McGregor, Texas test site to
confirm the failure mode.
Falcon 9 Returns to Flight
Ending a four-month failure investigation stand-down, SpaceX
Corporation's Falcon 9 launch vehicle returned to service on
January 14, 2017, orbiting ten IridiumNEXT satellites from
Vandenberg AFB in California. The v1.2 variant, informally
designated F9-30 by outside observers (it used first stage
number B1029), lifted off from Space Launch Complex 4 East
at 17:54 UTC to begin a hour-long mission that inserted the
860 kg, Thales Alenia Space-built satellites into roughly
610 x 620 km x 86.4 deg orbits. The satellites will raise
themselves into 780 km operational orbits.
After a 43 minute, 16 second coast, the Falcon 9 second
stage restarted for a brief second, circularization burn at
first apogee about 52 minutes 31 seconds after liftoff to
complete the powered phase of the flight. Spacecraft
separation began at about the 59 minutes 16 seconds mark,
with each satellite separating individually separated by
about 1.5 minutes.
The first stage performed
boost-back, reentry, and landing burns before landing on the
converted barge "drone ship" “Just Read the Instructions”.
It was the first successful first stage landing in two West
Coast attempts. Six previous first stage recoveries had been
made after Cape canaveral liftoffs.
The launch was the first of seven planned IridiumNext Falcon
9 flights that will replace the company's orbiting "Little
LEO" communication satellite constellation.
Falcon 9 had been grounded since F9-29 and its $200 million
AMOS 6 satellite payload were destroyed during a pre-launch
propellant loading and hot fire test exercise at Cape
Canveral on September 1, 2016. SpaceX determined that the
cause was sudden overpressurization of the second stage
liquid oxygen (LOX) tank due to the failure of a composite
overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) containing pressurized
helium that was mounted inside the LOX tank. Improper
control of subcooled-LOX temperatures may have been
involved. Elon Musk of SpaceX suggested that LOX froze
within or beneath the composite overwrapping, causing loss
of COPV structural integrity.
SpaceX performed cryogenic loading tests, with some leading
to failure, of small test vessels at its McGregor, Texas
test site to confirm the failure mode. The company also
changed its propellant loading procedures, more than
doubling the LOX loading time.
The F9-30 first and second stages were test fired at the
company's McGregor, Texas test site during late October and
early November, 2016. The first stage was hot fired at SLC
4E on January 5, 2017 after a scrub the previous day. The
IridiumNEXT payload was not atop the vehicle during the wet
dress rehearsal and hot fire exercise.
F9-30 was the 29th Falcon 9 launch and the ninth v1.2
variant to fly, not including the lost AMOS 6 launch
vehicle. It was the first v1.2 to fly from VAFB.
Falcon 9 Debuts from KSC
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 orbited the
CRS-10 Dragon spacecraft with cargo for the International
Space Station from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
Pad A on February 29, 2017. It was the first Falcon 9
launch from the converted NASA Saturn 5/Space Shuttle launch
site. Liftoff took place at 14:39 UTC, following an
aborted attempt one day earlier caused by out of range
readings from the second stage thrust vector control
Falcon 9's second stage
boosted Dragon into a 51.6 deg low earth orbit, with stage
cutoff occurring about 9 min 5 sec after liftoff and
spacecraft separation taking place about one minute
later. While the second stage was performing its 393
second long burn, the first stage did a 180 deg flip and
performed 3-engine boostback burn. It flipped again
before performing a 3-engine entry burn and a single engine
landing burn that began about 7 min 33 sec after
liftoff. The stage landed at Cape Canaveral Landing
Zone 1, performing the first daylight landing, and third
overall, at the site. The second stage was expected to
perform a deorbit burn after spacecraft separation.
The CRS-10 Dragon (Dragon
spacecraft No. 12) carried about 2,490 kg tonnes of cargo,
including 1,530 kg inside the pressurized capsule and 960 kg
attached to the unpressurized trunk section.
Spacecraft berthing at ISS is scheduled to occur on February
21. SpaceX does not announce total spacecraft mass,
but based on early publications by the company and on more
recent expert estimates, CRS-10 Dragon likely weighed about
8,430 kg at liftoff, including cargo.
The flight was performed by
the F9-32 vehicle, a v1.2 (or "Block 3") variant, which used
first stage number B1031. The vehicle's stages
were test fired at McGregor, Texas, apparently during
December, 2016. The first stage performed a brief
static firing at LC 39A on February 12, 2017 after a
scrubbed attempt the day before. The first and second
stages without payload were stacked for the test.
With the flight, Falcon 9
became the first launch vehicle family to perform a second
orbital flight in 2017.
For Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, SpaceX added a large
horizontal processing hangar just south of the SLC 39A fence
line and replaced the crawlerway ramp with dual rail tracks
for a transporter erector launcher (TEL) to roll upon while
carrying rockets up to the pad. The flame trench was
rebuilt and reconfigured, with exhaust now exiting only
toward the north, and large "rainbirds" were added to spray
water on the launcher during liftoff. Additional
changes to the pad are planned to support Commercial Crew
launches, including installation of a crew access arm on the
fixed service tower.
Falcon Heavy is not expected
to debut from LC 39A until after Cape Canaveral SLC 40 is
restored to service sometime after mid-2017.
Meanwhile, SpaceX hopes to perform a first unmanned flight
of its Dragon 2 Commercial Crew spacecraft from LC 39A by
year's end. An improved "Block 5" Falcon 9 being
developed to launch Dragon 2 will perform the launch.
It was the 95th launch from LC
39A, a number that includes 12 Saturn 5 and 82 Space Shuttle
liftoffs, the most recent by Shuttle Atlantis on July 8,
2011 for STS-135 mission.
Falcon 9 Reflies First
Stage, Orbits SES 10 (March 31, 2017 Update)
SpaceX launched a previously-flown Falcon 9 first stage for
the first time on March 30, 2017. The stage, B1021, boosted
the F9-33 mission that lofted the SES 10 communications
satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit from Kennedy
Space Center Launch Complex 39 Pad A. B1021 had previously
flown during the F9-23 CRS-8 mission on April 8, 2016, when
it landed downrange on a converted barge. After a 22:27 UTC
liftoff, B1021 repeated the feat, landing again on the
downrange floating platform after performing reentry and
After the first stage completed its 2 min 38 sec ascent
burn, the Falcon 9 second stage fired its Merlin 1D Vacuum
engine for 345 sec to reach a parking orbit. After a 17 min
55 sec coast to the equator above the west African coast,
the stage restarted for 53 seconds to accelerate the 5,282
kg SES 10 satellite toward a planned 218 x 35,410 km x 26.2
deg transfer orbit. SES 10 separated from the stage 32 min
03 sec after liftoff.
After raising itself to geostationary orbit, Airbus Defense
and space-built SES 10 will serve Latin America, using 55
Ku-band transponder equivalents, from 67 deg West.
After the flight, SpaceX CEO
Elon Musk announced that the company had, in another first,
directed one of the two payload fairing halves to a landing
zone in a test of future payload fairing recovery. The
fairing had been equipped with a cold gas thruster
system. Eventually, steerable parachutes and
inflatable shock absorbers will be used to bring the
fairings down to recoverable ocean landings.
It was the first reflight of a
complete orbital-class liquid fueled rocket stage.
Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket had previously reflown, but
on much less taxing suborbital missions. Reusable
Space Shuttle orbiters brought back three main engines
(SSMEs) and avionics, but expended the large external
propellant tank that fed the three SSMEs. Space
Shuttle solid rocket boosters were also recovered and
reused, but they were disassembled after each flight and the
motor segments never stayed together to fly again as a unit.
After its 2016 flight, the
B1021 stage was partially disassembled (its engines were
removed, for example) and was shipped back to the SpaceX
factory in Hawthorne, California. After the engines
were re-installed and other refurbishment work completed,
the stage was shipped to the company's McGregor, Texas test
site. There, it was test-fired on January 25, 2017,
completing what appeared to be a standard test cycle for a
Falcon 9 first stage. The new second stage was also
test fired in late January or early February. After
shipment to LC 39A's Horizontal Integration Facility, the
assembled F9-33 rocket performed a five-second static test
at LC 39A on March 27, 2017, with no payload
"Block 5" Inaugural
first "Block 5" increment of the Falcon 9 v1.2
design, orbited Bangabandhu 1, Bangladesh's first
geostationary communications satellite, from Kennedy
Space Center LC 39A on May 11, 2018. The 3.72 tonne
Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000B2 series satellite
separated into a geosynchronous transfer orbit about
33 minutes 38 seconds after the 20:14 UTC liftoff,
following two burns by the Falcon 9 second stage.
The launch followed an automatic abort on May 10
about 1 minute before that planned liftoff.
SpaceX has incrementally upgraded the Falcon 9 v1.2
design since it first appeared in December, 2015.
The Block 5 version incorporates higher-thrust
Merlin 1D engines that feature turbopump
modifications requested by NASA to support upcoming
crew launches. Block 5 includes second stage
pressurization changes, made after the AMOS 6 Falcon
9 explosion, that allow for faster, later, denser,
chilled kerosene fuel loading. Block 5 also sports
new landing legs that will be able to retract after
landing without needing to be removed as was prior
practice. Other changes appeared in earlier Block
designs, including a bolted rather than a welded
first stage engine thrust structure, titanium grid
fins, and an improved second stage design.
Launch, Drone View
The Block 5 first stage thrust increases to 775.65
tonnes (1.71 million pounds) at sea level, an
increase of 8% from Block 4. Thrust has increased
about 12% from the 694 tonnes (1.53 million pounds)
thrust of the initial Falcon 9 v1.2 Merlin
1D-powered vehicles and nearly 30% from the 600
tonnes (1.32 million pounds) thrust of the Falcon 9
v1.1 Merlin 1D-powered rockets that began flying in
2013. Second stage thrust remained at 95.26 tonnes
for this flight, though the Merlin 1D Vacuum engine
is reported to be capable of a future upgrade to
99.79 tonnes thrust. The changes should allow Falcon
9 to finally approach the payload performance
numbers that have been listed on the SpaceX web
site since April 2016. SpaceX believes that the
design should also allow for more than that the
single first stage reflights so far attained.
First stage number B1046 burned for about 2 min
31 sec, a few seconds shorter than earlier, similar
missions, before separating to perform reentry and
landing burns to land on the "Of Course I Still Love
You" droneship postioned about 630 km downrange. The
second stage performed a planned 5 min 43 sec first
burn to reach a parking orbit at T+8 min 19 sec.
This burn was substantially shorter than earlier,
similar missions. The stage restarted at T+27 min 38
sec for a 59 second long second burn that
accelerated Bangabandhu 1 to GTO.
satellite will employ 26 Ku-band and 14 C-band
transponders to provide communications services to
Bangladesh and nearby regions from its final
geostationary position at 119.1 deg East.
B1046 was test fired at McGregor, Texas during late
February or early March, 2018 and was briefly hot
fired at LC 39A with the second stage but no payload
attached, on May 4, 2018.
A total of 25
Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy core and booster stages
have now been recovered in 31 attempts, including 2
of 3 Falcon Heavy stage landing tries. Four of the
successful landings have been on "Just Read the
Instructions" off California, 10 at Cape Canaveral
LZ 1, one at LZ 2, and 10 on the drone ship "Of
Course I Still Love You" off Florida.
Nineteen individual first stages have been
recovered. Eleven have flown twice, but five of
those were either expended or lost during their
second flights. All of the recovered stages have
been v1.2 types.
185 km x
(1) 28.5 deg (CC)
(2) 98 deg (VA)
(3) 9.1 deg (KW)
(4) 51.6 deg (CC)
x 27 deg
|Falcon 9 Block 1 (Merlin 1C)
|9.0 t (1)
8.5 t (4)
||2 t (5)
||2 Stage Falcon 9 (Merlin 1C)
+ 3.6 m or 5.2 m PLF
| 48.1 m
||$35-55 m (2007)
|Falcon 9 v1.1 (Block 2)
|13.15 t (1)
||2.9 t (est)(5)
||2 Stage Falcon 9 v1.1
+ 3.6 m or 5.2 m PLF
| 63.3 m
 68.4 m
|505.8 t (max)
||$54-59.5 m (2013)
v1.2 (Block 3)
~17.4 t (1)
8.626 t (1st stg d/r recovery)
8.43 t (1st stg RTLS)
~6.4 t (Blk 3)
5.6 t (Blk 3, stg 1 expended)
6.761 t (Stg 1 expended, Blk 4 Stg 2)
5.282 t (1st stg d/r recovery)
~3.8 t (est)(5)
0.57 t to near-escape
(1st stg d/r recovery abandoned
due high winds)
Stage Falcon 9 v1.2 Initial
+ 3.6 m or 5.2 m PLF
t (no p/l)
|22.8 t (1)
5.5 t (1st stg recovery)
|4.02 t (5)
Falcon 9 v1.2
+ 3.6 m or 5.2 m PLF
| 69.98 m
||~587 t (max
||$62 m (1st
Stage 1 -
Stage 2 -
Stage 1 -
Stage 2 -
Stage 1 -
"v1.2" (Block 3)
Merlin 1D Full Thrust
Stage 2 -
"v1.2" (Block 3)
Merlin 1D Full Thrust
|Falcon 9 Block 5
Stage 1 -
Merlin 1D Fuller Thrust
|Falcon 9 Block 5
Stage 2 -
Merlin 1D Fuller Thrust
not incl I/S
not incl I/S
not incl I/S
not incl I/S
| ~19 t?
|Propellant Mass (tonnes)
|Total Mass (tonnes)
1D Vac FT
1D Vac FT
|ISP (SL sec)
||~ 2.0 t?
Falcon 9 v1.1 and v1.2 Flight History
Date Vehicle No. Payload Mass Site Orbit (kmxkmxdeg)
09/29/13 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-6 Cassiope/5 Cubesats 0.6 VA 4E 500x1500x80 LEO 
12/03/13 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-7 SES 8 3.183 CC 40 295x80000x20.8 GTO+
01/06/14 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-8 Thaicom 6 3.016 CC 40 295x90000x22.5 GTO+[A]
04/18/14 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-9 CRS-3/Dragon 5 ~7.76 CC 40 313x332x51.6 LEO/ISS
07/14/14 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-10 Orbcomm OG2 (6sats) 1.032 CC 40 614x743x47 LEO 
08/05/14 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-11 Asiasat 8 4.535 CC 40 185x35786x24.3 GTO
09/07/14 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-13 Asiasat 6 4.428 CC 40 184x35762x25.3 GTO
09/21/14 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-12 CRS-4/Dragon 6 ~7.716 CC 40 199x359x51.64 LEO/ISS
01/10/15 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-14 CRS-5/Dragon 7 ~7.807 CC 40 206x353x51.6 LEO/ISS
02/11/15 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-15 DSCOVR 0.57 CC 40 187x1371156x37 EEO 
03/02/15 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-16 Eutelsat 115WB/ABS 3A 4.159 CC 40 400x63300x24.8 GTO+
04/14/15 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-18 CRS-6/Dragon 8 ~7.505 CC 40 199x364x51.65 LEO/ISS
04/27/15 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-17 TurkmenAlem 52E 4.5 CC 40 180x36600x25.5 GTO
06/28/15 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-20 CRS-7/Dragon 9 ~7.944 CC 40 [FTO]
12/22/15 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-21 Orbcomm OG2 1.892 CC 40 620x660x47 LEO 
01/17/16 Falcon 9 v1.1 F9-19 Jason 3 0.553 VA 4E 1305x1320x66 LEO 
03/04/16 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-22 SES 9 5.271 CC 40 290x40600x28 GTO 
04/08/16 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-23 CRS 8/Dragon 10 ~8.626 CC 40 200x360x51.6 LEO/ISS
05/06/16 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-24 JCSAT 14 4.696 CC 40 189x35957x23.7 GTO 
05/27/16 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-25 Thiacom 8 3.025 CC 40 350x90226x21.2 GTO+
06/15/16 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-26 Eutelsat 117WB/ABS2A ~4.15 CC 40 395x62591x24.7 GTO+
07/18/16 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-27 CRS 9/Dragon 11 ~7.747 CC 40 200x360x51.6 LEO/ISS 
08/14/16 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-28 JCSAT 16 4.6 CC 40 184x35912x20.9 GTO 
09/01/16 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-29 AMOS 6 5.5 CC 40 [PAD]
01/14/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-30 Iridium NEXT 1 8.6 VA 4E 667x86.4 LEO 
02/19/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-32 CRS-10/Dragon 12 ~8.43 KC 39A 209x363x51.6 LEO/ISS
03/16/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-31 EchoStar 23 5.6 KC 39A 179x35903x22.4 GTO 
03/30/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-33 SES 10 5.282 KC 39A 217x33395x26.3 GTO 
05/01/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-34 NROL 76 ~2.8? KC 39A 400x51? LEO?
05/15/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-35 Inmarsat 5 F4 6.086 KC 39A 381x69839x24.5 GTO+
06/03/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-36 CRS-11/Dragon 6.2 ~8.198 KC 39A ~210x360x51.6 LEO/ISS
06/23/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-37 BulgariaSat 1 3.669 KC 39A 210x65640x23.9 GTO+
06/25/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-38 Iridium Next 2 8.60 VA 4E 625x86.4 LEO 
07/05/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-39 Intelsat 35e 6.761 KC 39A 296x42742x25.6 GTO 
08/14/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-41 CRS-12/Dragon 13 ~8.4 KC 39A 210x360x51.6 LEO/ISS
08/24/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-40 Formosat 5 0.475 VA 4E 720x98.28 LEO/S 
09/07/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-42 OTV-5 (X-37B) ~5.00 KC 39A LEO 
10/09/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-44 Iridium NEXT 3 8.6 VA 4E 625x86.6 LEO 
10/11/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-43 EchoStar 105/SES 11 5.2 KC 39A 309x40519x27.9 GTO 
10/30/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-45 Koreasat 5A 3.7 KC 39A 285x50185x22.0 GTO 
12/15/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-47 CRS-13/Dragon 8.2 ~7.7 CC 40 210x360x51.6 LEO/ISS
12/23/17 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-48 Iridium NEXT 4 8.6 VA 4E 625x86.6 deg LEO 
01/08/18 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-46 Zuma CC 40 LEO?
01/31/18 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-49 Govsat 1 4.230 CC 40 250x52000x27 GTO 
02/22/18 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-50 Paz/Microsat 2a/b ~2.000 VA 4E 514x97.4 LEO/S 
03/06/18 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-51 Hispasat 30W-6 6.092 CC 40 184x22261x26.9 GTO- 
03/30/18 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-52 Iridium NEXT 5 8.6 VA 4E 625x86.6 deg LEO 
04/02/18 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-53 Dragon 10.2/CRS-14 ~8.125 CC 40 210x360x51.6 LEO/ISS 
04/18/18 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-54 TESS 0.35 CC 40 299x299450x29.5 EEO 
05/11/18 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-55 Bangabandhu 1 ~3.72 KC 39A 308x35549x19.3 GTO 
05/22/18 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-56 Iridium 6/GRACE-FO ~5.5 VA 4E 494x710x86.7 LEO 
06/04/18 Falcon 9 v1.2 F9-57 SES 12 5.384 CC 40 250x58370x26 GTO+
 First Falcon 9 v1.1. First VAFB SLC 4E launch of Falcon 9.
1st stage performed two reentry burns (3 and 1 engine), but 2nd
burn cutoff early due high roll rates. 2nd stage restart for
disposal burn failed.
 First Falcon 9 GTO+ launch. Targeted 295 x 80,000 km x 20.75 degree
supersynchronous transfer orbit. Stg 1 briefly restarted post sep.
Fire reported in Stg1 octaweb during ascent.
[A] Lower than planned fuel reserves reported at end of final Stg2 burn.
Planned orbit achieved.
 First Falcon 9 fitted with extending landing legs. First stage
performed two retro burns after separation, lowering itself to a
simulated landing in the Atlantic off the Georgia/S. Carolina coast.
 2nd Falcon 9 with legs. First stage performed two retro burns and
landed in Atlantic but exploded during tip over.
 1st stg attempted landing on converted barge about 320 km downrange,
but landed hard on barge and was lost.
 187 x 1,371,156 km x 37 degree insertion orbit. DSCVR bound for Earth-Sun L1.
Stg 1 barge landing attempt abandoned due high seas.
 First stage landed hard on downrange landing platform and was destroyed.
 Broke up at about T+2m 19sec, before staging, due Stg2 LOX tank overpress.
 First stage boosted back to CC LZ-1 (former LC 13) and landed. Performed
boostback, reentry, and landing burns using 3, 1, and 1 engine. First
Falcon 9 v1.2 (Full Thrust) flight.
 First stage landed on downrange landing platform, but one leg failed to
lock in place. Stage fell over and was destroyed.
 First stage landing on downrange platform failed.
 3,136 kg cargo, incl 1,413 kg BEAM in trunk. 1st stg landed on barge
(1st barge success).
 First stage landed on downrange platform. First GTO landing. First
successful 3-engine landing.
 First stage landed on downrange platform.
 First stage destroyed during landing attempt on downrange platform. One of
three engines produced low thrust during final landing burn. Stage
"accordianed" on hard landing. Mission otherwise successful.
 First stage landed at CC LZ-1.
 F9 and AMOS 6 destroyed in explosion during hot fire countdown at SLC 40.
Launch was planned for 09/03/16.
 First stage (B1029) landed downrange on drone ship "Just Read the
 First stage (B1031) landed at CC LZ-1.
 First stage (B1030) purposely expended. No legs or fins. First
expendable v1.2. Allowed heaviest-yet GTO payload.
 First Stg 1 reflight using B1021. Stage landed downrange on drone ship
"Of Course I Still Love You". PLF half recovery test.
Planned 218 x 35,410 km x 26.2 deg, but achieved agreed parameters.
 First stage (B1032) landed at CC LZ-1. Block 4 second stage.
 Expendable first stage (B1034). Heaviest-yet GTO payload. Stg 2
burned to depletion. Block 4 second stage.
 First stage (B1035) landed at CC LZ-1. 1st reflight by Dragon C106.
 First stage (B1029.2) landed OCISLY. 2nd Stg 1 reflight.
 First stage (B1036) landed JRTI.
 Expendable first stage (B1037). Heaviest-yet GTO payload. Stg 2
burned to depletion. Block 4 second stage.
 First stage B1039 landed at CC LZ-1. First Blk 4 Stg 1.
 First stage B1038 landed JRTI.
 First stage B1040 landed CC LZ-1. Blk 4 Stg 1&2.
 First stage B1041 landed JRTI.
 First stage B1031.2 landed on OCISLY downrange.
 First stage B1042 landed on OCISLY downrange.
 First stage B1035.2 landed LZ-1.
 First stage B1036.2 expended.
 First stage B1043 landed LZ-1.
 First stage B1032.2 expended. Insertion orbit estimated.
Actual orbit not published.
 First stage B1038.2 expended. 1st PLF 2.0, recovery attempted.
 First stage B1044.1 expended. High seas prevented recovery.
 First stage B1041.2 expended. 2nd PLF 2.0 recovery attempt (failed).
 First stage B1039.2 expended.
 First stage B1045 (last new Block 4) landed on OCISLY downrange.
 First stage B1046 (first Block 5, with Block 5 Stg 2) landed OSCILY.
 First stage B1043.2 expended. PLF recovery failed. GRACE-FO to
483 x 505 km x 86.4 deg, then S2 2nd burn to final orbit.
 First stage B1040.2 expended.
LIST BY STAGE 1 SERIAL NUMBER
X = Expended
OL = Ocean Landing
DRL = Down Range Platform Landing
LZ1 = Landing Zone 1 Landing
-X = Failed Landing
-S = Successful Landing (Scrapped)
-D = Successful Landing (Saved for Display)
-M = Successful Landing (Mothballed)
STA = Structural Test Article
QTA = Qualification Test Article
Stage 1 Falcon 9
No. Date Variant/No. Description Mass Site Stg1/Result Orbit
B0001 2007 v1.0 STA
B0002 2007 v1.0 QTA/Grasshopper
B0003 06/04/10 v1.0 F9-1 Dragon Qual Unit ~5.5 CC 40 X LEO
B0004 12/08/10 v1.0 F9-2 Dragon C1 ~5.5 CC 40 X LEO
B0005 05/22/12 v1.0 F9-3 Dragon C2+ ~6.02 CC 40 X LEO/ISS
B0006 10/08/12 v1.0 F9-4 Dragon 3/CRS-1 ~6.4 CC 40 X [LEO/ISS]
B0007 03/01/13 v1.0 F9-5 Dragon 4/CRS-2 ~6.54 CC 40 X LEO/ISS
B1001 2013 v1.1 STA
B1002 2013 v1.1 QTA/F9R Dev1 X
B1003 09/29/13 v1.1 F9-6 Cassiope/5 Cubesats 0.6 VA 4E OL-X LEO
B10?? 2013 v1.1 F9R Dev2 (not flown)
B10?? 12/03/13 v1.1 F9-7 SES 8 3.183 CC 40 X GTO+
B100? 01/06/14 v1.1 F9-8 Thaicom 6 3.016 CC 40 X GTO+
B10?? 04/18/14 v1.1 F9-9 Dragon 5/CRS-3 ~7.76 CC 40 OL-X LEO/ISS
B10?? 07/14/14 v1.1 F9-10 Orbcomm OG2 (6sats) 1.032 CC 40 OL-X LEO
B10?? 08/05/14 v1.1 F9-11 Asiasat 8 4.535 CC 40 X GTO
B1010 09/21/14 v1.1 F9-12 Dragon 6/CRS-4 ~7.716 CC 40 OL-X LEO/ISS
B1011 09/07/14 v1.1 F9-13 Asiasat 6 4.428 CC 40 X GTO
B1012 01/10/15 v1.1 F9-14 Dragon 7/CRS-5 ~7.807 CC 40 DRL-X LEO/ISS
B1013 02/11/15 v1.1 F9-15 DSCOVR 0.57 CC 40 OL-X EEO
B1014 03/02/15 v1.1 F9-16 Eutelsat 115WB/ABS 3A 4.159 CC 40 X GTO+
B1015 04/14/15 v1.1 F9-18 Dragon 8/CRS-6 ~7.505 CC 40 DRL-X LEO/ISS
B1016 04/27/15 v1.1 F9-17 TurkmenAlem 52E 4.5 CC 40 X GTO
B1017 01/17/16 v1.1 F9-19 Jason 3 0.553 VA 4E DRL-X LEO
B1018 06/28/15 v1.1 F9-20 Dragon 9/CRS-7 ~7.944 CC 40 X [FTO]
B1019 12/22/15 v1.2 F9-21 Orbcomm OG2 1.892 CC 40 LZ1-D LEO
B1020 03/04/16 v1.2 F9-22 SES 9 5.271 CC 40 DRL-X GTO
B1021 04/08/16 v1.2 F9-23 Dragon 10/CRS 8 ~8.626 CC 40 DRL LEO/ISS
B1021.2 03/30/17 v1.2 F9-33 SES 10 5.282 KC 39A DRL-D GTO
B1022 05/06/16 v1.2 F9-24 JCSAT 14 4.696 CC 40 DRL GTO
B1022.2 2016 v1.2 TX Hot Fire Tests
B1023 05/27/16 v1.2 F9-25 Thiacom 8 3.025 CC 40 DRL GTO+
B1023.2 02/06/18 FH FH-1 FH Demo Side KC 39A LZ1 HCO
B1024 06/15/16 v1.2 F9-26 Eutelsat 117WB/ABS2A ~4.15 CC 40 DRL-X GTO+
B1025 07/18/16 v1.2 F9-27 Dragon 11/CRS 9 ~7.747 CC 40 LZ1 LEO/ISS
B1025.2 02/06/18 FH FH-1 FH Demo Side KC 39A LZ1 HCO
B1026 08/14/16 v1.2 F9-28 JCSAT 16 4.6 CC 40 DRL-S GTO
B1027 2016 FH FH-1 FH Core STA
B1028 09/01/16 v1.2 F9-29 AMOS 6 5.5 CC 40 X [PAD]
B1029 01/14/17 v1.2 F9-30 Iridium Next 1-10 8.6 VA 4E DRL LEO
B1029.2 06/23/17 v1.2 F9-37 BulgariaSat 1 3.669 KC 39A DRL-D GTO+
B1030 03/16/17 v1.2 F9-31 EchoStar 23 5.6 KC 39A X GTO
B1031 02/19/17 v1.2 F9-32 Dragon 12/CRS-10 ~8.43 KC 39A LZ1 LEO/ISS
B1031.2 10/11/17 v1.2 F9-43 EchoStar 105/SES 11 5.2 KC 39A DRL GTO
B1032 05/01/17 v1.2 F9-34 NROL 76 ~2.8? KC 39A LZ1 LEO?
B1032.2 01/31/18 v1.2 F9-49 GovSat 1 4.23 CC 40 X GTO
B1033 02/06/18 FH FH-1 FH Demo Core KC 39A DRL-X HCO
B1034 05/15/17 v1.2 F9-35 Inmarsat 5 F4 6.086 KC 39A X GTO+
B1035 06/03/17 v1.2 F9-36 Dragon 6.2/CRS-11 ~8.198 KC 39A LZ1 LEO/ISS
B1035.2 12/15/17 v1.2 F9-47 Dragon 8.2/CRS-13 ~7.7 CC 40 LZ1 LEO/ISS
B1036 06/25/17 v1.2 F9-38 Iridium Next 11-20 8.60 VA 4E DRL LEO
B1036.2 12/23/17 v1.2 F9-48 Iridium Next 4 8.6 VA 4E X LEO
B1037 07/05/17 v1.2 F9-39 Intelsat 35e 6.761 KC 39A X GTO
B1038 08/24/17 v1.2 F9-40 Formosat 5 0.475 VA 4E DRL LEO/S
B1038.2 02/22/18 v1.2 F9-50 Paz/Microsat 2a/b ~2.0 VA 4E X LEO
B1039 08/14/17 v1.2 F9-41 Dragon 13/CRS-12 ~8.4 KC 39A LZ1 LEO/ISS
B1039.2 04/02/18 v1.2 F9-53 Dragon 10.2/CRS-14 ~8.125 CC 40 X LEO/ISS
B1040 09/07/17 v1.2 F9-42 OTV-5 (X-37B) ~5.00 KC 39A LZ1 LEO
B1040.2 06/04/18 v1.2 F9-57 SES 12 5.384 CC 40 X GTO
B1041 10/09/17 v1.2 F9-44 Iridium Next 3 8.6 VA 4E DRL LEO/S
B1041.2 03/30/18 v1.2 F9-52 Iridium Next 5 8.6 VA 4E X LEO
B1042 10/30/17 v1.2 F9-45 Koreasat 5A 3.7 KC 39A DRL GTO
B1043 01/08/18 v1.2 F9-46 Zuma CC 40 LZ1 LEO?
B1043.2 05/22/18 v1.2 F9-56 Iridium 6/GRACE-FO ~5.5 VA 4E X LEO
B1044 03/06/18 v1.2 F9-51 Hispasat 1F 6.092 CC 40 X GTO
B1045 04/18/18 v1.2 F9-54 TESS 0.35 CC 40 DRL EEO
B1045.2 --/--/18 v1.2 F9-?? Dragon/CRS-15 CC 40 LEO/ISS
B1046 05/11/18 v1.2 F9-55 Bangabandhu 1 ~3.72 KC 39A DRL GTO
Estimated v1.2 First Stage Block Number Ranges
(Second Stage Number Ranges Differ)
Block 1 B1019-B1020
Block 2 B1021-B1027
Block 3 B1028-B1038
Block 4 B1039-B1045
Block 5 B1046-
Falcon 9 Data Sheet, SpaceX,
Falcon 9 Users Guide, SpaceX, 2009, updated 2015
Falcon Family Brochure, SpaceX, 2011
Updates at www.spacex.com
Updates on Elon Musk Twitter page
Tom Mueller (SpaceX VP) comments at August 2011 Joint
"Iridium NOW & NEXT", IDG Aero Satcom Seminar --
Stockholm, Sweden, Jeffrey White, Iridium Director EMEA
& Russia, March 9, 2012
Draft Environmental Impact Statement, SpaceX Texas Launch
Site, Vol 1&2, April 2013
SpaceX web site www.spacex.com