28 September 2008 - SpaceX Falcon 1 Becomes First Private Spacecraft To Reach Orbit

Falcon 1 lifts off on it's 4th flight. Image credit: SpaceX

After 3 unsuccessful launches of the Falcon 1 rocket, stakes were high for SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

The future of hist company depended on getting his rockets to fly.

So on 28 September 2008, the Falcon 1 set out on a fourth mission from Omelek Island in the South Pacific.

9 minutes 31 seconds after launch it turned out to be a success.

The SpaceX Falcon 1 had reached orbit and the second stage engine shut down.

Image of the engine of the SpaceX commercial spacecraft Falcon 1 after it achieved orbit - image credit: SpaceX


This marked SpaceX first successful launch and the first commercial liquid-propelled carrier rocket to reach Earth orbit.

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