HomeNewsArticle Display

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 Flights Deemed Successful

The U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing provided Eastern Range support to the successful launch of the Thaicom 6 communications satellite from Space Launch Complex 40 at 5:06 p.m. Jan. 6, 2014. "I am immensely proud of the work of the wing and our mission partners," said Col. Robert Pavelko, vice commander, 45th Space Wing, who also served as the Launch Decision Authority. (Courtesy Photo/Walter Scriptunas II)

The U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing provided Eastern Range support to the successful launch of the Thaicom 6 communications satellite from Space Launch Complex 40 at 5:06 p.m. Jan. 6, 2014. (Courtesy Photo/Walter Scriptunas II)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The U.S. Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center declared both the Dec. 3, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014 flights of the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle will each count as a successful flight towards Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) certification. This completes the three flights required for the flight experience requirement.

Flight experience is one of several assessments conducted on each launch and is one component of launch vehicle certification. Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) signed by SpaceX and SMC in June 2013, the SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 must perform at least three successful flights of a common launch vehicle configuration and pass a number of technical reviews, audits and independent verification and validation of the launch vehicle, ground systems, and manufacturing processes before the system will be considered for launching critical and high cost National Security Space payloads.

"I applaud SpaceX on achieving the three flights. With this significant part of the agreed-to path in certifying the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch system complete, we look forward to working with SpaceX to complete the remaining certification activities and providing SpaceX with the opportunity to compete for EELV missions," said Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves, SMC commander.

The Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks; space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.

Media representatives can submit questions to smcpa.media@losangeles.af.mil