Timeline of SpaceX

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This is a timeline of SpaceX, which attempts to describe important events in the history of the company. All completed missions are included.

Big picture

Time period Development summary
2006–2009 Early period of SpaceX, which involves the development of Falcon 1, an expendable launch system. Five missions are completed in this period, all of them launched in Kwajalein Atoll.
2010–2013 SpaceX Dragon is introduced, and becomes the first commercially built and operated spacecraft to be recovered successfully from orbit.[1] SpaceX becomes the first private company to launch a payload into orbit and return it to Earth intact. Cape Canaveral becomes SpaceX's main launch site.
2014–2016 Strong period of growth. In 2014 SpaceX scheduled 14 launches, one more than it had done from 2006 through 2013. In 2014, SpaceX also began construction on its own spaceport in South Texas.[2] In 2015, SpaceX made progress with landing and reusing unmanned rockets. In 2016, SpaceX was on the list due to the discovery of the first step towards decreasing the costs of spaceflights.[3] In 2017, SpaceX more than doubled the number of completed missions achieved in 2016.
2017 SpaceX achieves one of its great ambitions, the recovery and reuse of rockets.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
2001 Project Elon Musk conceptualizes "Mars Oasis", a project to land a miniature experimental greenhouse containing seeds with dehydrated gel on Mars to grow plants on Martian soil, "so this would be the furthest that life's ever traveled"[4] in an attempt to regain public interest in space exploration and increase the budget of NASA.[5][6]
2001 October Elon Musk travells to Moscow with aerospace supplies fixer Jim Cantrell, and Adeo Ressi (Musk's best friend from college), to buy refurbished ICBMs (Dnepr) that could send payloads into space.[7]
2002 Foundation Elon Musk launches SpaceX[8], with original base established in El Segundo, California.[9]
2006 March 24 Mission Falcon 1 demo flight 1 is launched from Kwajalein site in Omelek Island.[10]
2007 March 20 Mission Falcon 1 demo flight 2 is launched from Kwajalein site in Omelek Island.[10]
2008 August 2 Mission Falcon 1 is launched from Omelek Island as mission for the United States Government, ATSB and NASA. It is SpaceX's first launch mission for customers.[10]
2008 September 28 Mission SpaceX achieves the first privately funded liquid-fueled rocket to reach orbit (Falcon 1 Flight 4).[11][8]
2008 December Contract NASA awards SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract for US$1.6 billion.[12][13]
2009 July Mission Falcon 1 Flight 5 becomes the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to deliver a commercial satellite to Earth orbit. The rocket launches with RazakSat for Malaysia’s Astronautic Technology Sdn Bhd (ATSB).[13][8][10]
2010 June 4 Mission Falcon 9 innaugural test flight from Cape Canaveral. The rocket meets 100% of mission objectives on the first flight.[13][8][9] The company makes its inaugural test flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida.[9][10][14][15]
2010 December 8 Mission Falcon 9 Flight 2. SpaceX tests its Falcon 9 and a fully functioning Dragon capsule combination in a launch from Cape Canaveral. The test flight is the first under a NASA contract called COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services}}. The rocket returns, with SpaceX becoming the first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft.[11][13][8][9][16][9][17]
2011 Program SpaceX announces Grasshopper program to develop reusable rockets.[8]
2012 May 22 Mission Dragon reaches the International Space Station. SpaceX becomes the first private company to send a spacecraft to the ISS (Falcon 9 Flight 3). The launch is the company's second demonstration test flight for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Program.[18][11][13][8][9][9][16][9]
2012 October 7 Mission Falcon 9 launches Dragon on Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station, bringing 1,000 lbs of food and cargo to the astronauts on board.[19][9][20]
2013 March 1 Mission The second SpaceX mission to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract is launched from Cape Canaveral.[21]
2013 March Test SpaceX completes the first 24-storey test flight of a newly developed rocket, the Grasshopper. Meant to be a prototype for a reusable rocket into space, it safely returns to Earth, landing upright.[9]
2013 September 29 Mission SpaceX successfully launches debut Falcon 9 v1.1, carrying an array of payloads including Canadian CASSIOPE technology demonstration satellite.[22]
2013 October Mission The Grasshopper program finishes with a 744m flight, hover, and landing.[13]
2013 December Contract NASA selects SpaceX to lease a historic launch pad for the company's commercial rockets. The agreement would allow the spaceflight company to lease the historic Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.[23][24][25][26][27][28]
2013 December 3 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket launches the SES-8 commercial communications satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The mission is SpaceX's first commercial satellite launch into a geostationary transfer orbit.[11][29]
2013 December Mission Falcon 9 reaches Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.[13][8]
2014 April Mission Falcon 9 first stage lands on barge in ocean, but is destroyed by heavy seas.[8]
2014 June Mission Falcon 9 reusable test vehicle flies 1000 meters.[13]
2014 July Mission SpaceX launches its tenth consecutive successful Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station; lofting a constellation of six ORBCOMM OG2 satellites to orbit.[30]
2014 August 5 Mission SpaceX launches Falcon 9 to deliver Hong Kong geostationary communications satellite AsiaSat 8 to Geostationary Transfer Orbit.[31]
2014 September 7 Mission SpaceX launches Falcon 9 with AsiaSat 6 satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit.[32]
2014 September Contract NASA awards SpaceX a US$2.6 billion contract to fly American astronauts, and announces that SpaceX and Boeing will be the two companies developing spacecraft to send astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX’s crew capsule is called the Dragon V2.[13][9]
2014 September 21 Mission SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft is launched on Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, carrying fourth cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station.[33]
2015 January Mission SpaceX begins a series of first stage landing attempts of its Falcon 9 rocket on an autonomous spaceport drone ship.[13] The rocket crashes and burns.[9]
2015 February 11 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launches the Deep Space Climate Observatory DSCOVR spacecraft.[34]
2015 March 2 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully boosts Eutelsat 115 West B and ABS-3A communications satellites to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).[35]
2015 April 14 Mission SpaceX Falcon Falcon 9 lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the Dragon resupply spacecraft on the sixth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.[36]
2015 April 27 Mission Falcon 9 launches Turkmenistan's first satellite TürkmenÄlem 52°E / MonacoSAT for Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space.[37]
2015 May Test Crew Dragon tests launch abort system, an emergency escape measure designed to pull the crew capsule free of its Falcon 9 rocket in the event of a launch failure.[13][38]
2015 June 28 A Falcon9 rocket explodes during takeoff.[9]
2015 December 22 Mission SpaceX achieves the first landing of an orbital rocket's first stage on land (Falcon 9 Flight 20), after delivering 11 Orbcomm communications satellites.[11][13][8][9][39][16]
2016 January 17 Mission SpaceX launches the Jason-3 satellite for NASA, which plans to measure the height of the ocean surface, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The first stage lands at a good speed, but one of the legs wouldn't latch, causing it to fall over and subsequently explode.[39]
2016 March 4 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches into orbit carrying the SES-9 communications satellite.[40]
2016 April 8 Mission SpaceX achieves the first landing of an orbital rocket's first stage on an ocean platform (Falcon 9 Flight 23).[11][13][8]
2016 May 6 Mission In a mission to deliver Japanese satellite JCSAT-14 on a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), SpaceX records another successful landing of a rocket stage at sea when the Falcon 9 booster returns to a drone ship off the Florida coast.[41]
2016 May 27 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket places the Thaicom 8 commercial telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.[42]
2016 July 18 Mission SpaceX achieves its fifth successful rocket landing after a cargo launch toward the International Space Station.[43]
2016 August 14 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launches JCSAT-16 commercial telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit, before landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.[44]
2017 January 14 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully delivers 10 satellites to low-Earth orbit for Iridium Communications, an American company that operates mobile voice and data satellite communications.[45]
2017 February 19 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 launches from Cape Canaveral carrying a Dragon cargo capsule filled with nearly 5,500 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station.[46]
2017 March 30 Mission SpaceX reuses a rocket for the first time ever. The Falcon 9 launches from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the SES-10 communications satellite.[47][16]
2017 March 16 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket delivers heavyweight EchoStar 23 communications satellite into a high-altitude orbit, a mission near the limit of capability.[48]
2017 March 30 Mission SpaceX achieves the first controlled flyback and recovery of a payload fairing (Falcon 9 Flight 32)[49][13]
2017 May 1 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches classified satellite for the United States National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).[50]
2017 May 15 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center Inmarsat 5 F4 communications satellite.[51]
2017 June 3 Mission SpaceX launches the first reflight of a commercial cargo spacecraft (Falcon 9 Flight 35).[52][13] Refurbished SpaceX Dragon ship flies to the International Space Station, becoming the first time the same unmanned spacecraft has returned to the station.[8][16]
2017 June 23 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 launches into orbit BulgariaSat-1, the first geostationary communications satellite in Bulgaria’s history.[53]
2017 June 24 Mission Falcon 9 rocket successfully deploys ten Iridium communications satellites.[54]
2017 July 5 Mission Falcon 9 launches from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39, carrying the Intelsat 35e satellite to geostationary transfer orbit.[55]
2017 August 14 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 launches from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 carrying the Dragon vehicle in its twelfth flight to the International Space Station.[56]
2017 August 24 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, carrying the Formosat-5 Earth observation satellite for Taiwan’s National Space Organization.[57]
2017 September Technology New rocket booster, the BFR rocket is announced, along with updated plans for Mars colonization.[8]
2017 September 7 Mission SpaceX’s Falcon 9 successfully launches the Orbital Test Vehicle 5 (OTV-5) payload from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.[58][59][60]
2017 October 9 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with 10 next-generation Iridium communications satellites (Third flight).[61][62][63]
2017 October 11 Mission SpaceX successfully launches the EchoStar 105/SES-11 payload from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The satellite is deployed approximately 36 minutes after liftoff into its targeted orbit.[64][65][66]
2017 October 30 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral and successfully delivers South Korean satellite Koreasat 5A to its designated orbit, marking the the company’s 16th successful mission of the year — twice the number of successful missions in 2016.[67][68][69][10]
2017 November Program SpaceX plans launch of the most powerful rocket since the Saturn V last left for the moon in 1973.[8]
2017 December 15 Program SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the 13th operational Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station on the company’s fourth mission under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services Program in the year.[70]
2017 December 22 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with 10 next-generation Iridium Communications satellites (fourth flight).[10]
2018 January 7 Mission SpaceX launched classified Zuma spacecraft for the United States government.[71]
2018 January 31 Mission Falcon 9 rocket launches Luxembourg’s first military spacecraft, the SES-16/GovSat 1 geostationary communications satellite, into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). GovSat-1, also known as SES-16, is the first satellite to be launched for LuxGovSat, a partnership between the government of Luxembourg and commercial satellite operator SES S.A..[72]
2018 February 6 Mission SpaceX successfully conducts a test launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket carrying aboard a Tesla Roadster and “Starman”, a dummy in a SpaceX spacesuit.[73]
2018 February 22 Mission SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches Spain’s Paz radar satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The launch also carries the first demonstration satellites for SpaceX’s own satellite internet constellation, the SpaceX Starlink.[74]

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links

References

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