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March 21, 2007

Commercial Rocket Falcon 1 of Space X Program Reaches Space -- For A Moment

The flight was cut short by a suspected fuel delivery malfunction.

Commercial rocket Falcon 1 briefly entered space Tuesday, before a mishap cut its test launch short of orbiting Earth.

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a 5-year-old company created by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, said Falcon 1 started to spin during the second stage of its trajectory through space. As a result, the company suspects it will find that no fuel was able to reach the engine, said Gwynne Shotwell, vice president of business development for SpaceX.

Falcon 1 reached an altitude of approximately 200 miles into space, but failed to achieve its goal of orbiting the Earth.

That marks the second time within the past 12 months that SpaceX fell short of orbiting Earth post launch. The company also aborted two attempts at launching during this most recent effort--one within an hour of blasting into space and another on Monday.

Still pretty cool.


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