2The SpaceX Launch Vehicle
3The SpaceX Merlin Engine
4Test Firing of the Falcon 9
On Nov. 22, 2008, SpaceX successfully completed a full mission duration test firing of the Falcon 9 first stage lasting nearly three minutes. The nine Merlin engines produced 855,000 pounds of thrust and consumed more than a half-million pounds of liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene during the test.
5Reigniting of the Second Stage Engine
After traveling half way around the Earth, a Falcon 1 Flight 4 vehicle flies over the Atlantic Ocean on the night side of the Earth and reignites the Kestrel second-stage engine. Restarting the Kestrel engine raises and circularizes the orbit to an ellipse of 621 by 643 kilometers, where it will remain for 10 years or longer.
6Dropping the Nose Cone
7The Dragon Capsule
The Dragon capsule is comprised of three main elements: the nose cone, which protects the vessel and the docking adaptor during ascent; the Pressurized Section, which houses the crew and/or pressurized cargo; and the Service Section, which contains avionics, the RCS system, parachutes and other support infrastructure.
8The Dragon Capsule in Cargo Mode
For cargo launches, the inside of the capsule is outfitted with a modular cargo rack system designed to accommodate pressurized cargo in standard sizes and form factors. For crewed launches, the interior is outfitted with crew couches, controls with manual override capability and upgraded life-support.
9The Dragon Capsule in Crew Configuration
10Approaching the International Space Station
12Dragons Return to Earth
Water landing of Dragon Capsule.