World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Falcon 5

Article Id: WHEBN0000838605
Reproduction Date:

Title: Falcon 5  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Falcon (rocket family), SpaceX, PRESat, Omelek Island, Trailblazer (satellite)
Collection: Cancelled Space Launch Vehicles, Falcon (Rocket Family), Partially Reusable Space Launch Vehicles
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Falcon 5

Falcon 5

Early Falcon 5 design
Function Human-rated re-usable orbital launch vehicle
Manufacturer SpaceX
Country of origin United States
Height 47 m (154 ft)
Diameter 3.65 m (12 ft)
Mass 155,000 kg (340,000 lb)
Stages 2
Payload to LEO 4,100 kg
Payload to
Geosynchronous transfer orbit
1,050 kg
Launch history
Status Cancelled
Launch sites SLC-3W Vandenberg AFB
Omelek Island
SLC-36 Cape Canaveral
Kodiak Island
Wallops Island
First stage
Engines 5 Merlin
Thrust 1,890 kN (425,000 lbf)
Specific impulse Sea level: 255 sec (2.6 kN/kg)
Vacuum: 304 sec (3.0 kN/kg)
Burn time 200 seconds
Fuel LOX/RP-1
Second stage
Engines 1 Merlin
Thrust 409 kN (93,000 lbf)
Specific impulse Vacuum: 304 sec (3.0 kN/kg)
Burn time 265 seconds
Fuel LOX/RP-1

The Falcon 5 was a proposed two-stage-to-orbit partially reusable launch vehicle designed by SpaceX, since canceled and replaced by the larger, more powerful Falcon 9.[1]


  • Overview 1
  • Launcher versions 2
  • Payload capabilities 3
  • Related launch vehicle plans 4
  • References 5
  • See also 6


The first stage of Falcon 5 was to be powered by five Merlin engines and the upper stage by one Merlin engine, both burning RP-1 with a liquid oxygen oxidizer. Along with the Falcon 9, it would have been the world's only launch vehicle with all stages designed for reuse.[2]

The Falcon 5 would have been the first American rocket since the Saturn V to have full engine out capability, meaning that with the loss of one engine, it can still meet mission requirements by burning the other four engines longer to achieve the correct orbit.[3] In comparison, the Space Shuttle only had partial engine out capability, meaning it may not be able to achieve proper orbit by burning the remaining engines longer.[3]

Launcher versions

In 2006, SpaceX stated that the Falcon 5 was a Falcon 9 with four engines removed.[3] Since the launchers were being co-developed, work on the Falcon 9 was also applicable to the Falcon 5.[3]

Version Falcon 5
Stage 0
Stage 1 5 × Merlin 1C
Stage 2 1 × Merlin 1C
(max; m)
Initial thrust
Takeoff weight
Fairing diameter
(Inner; m)
3.6 or 5.2 (large fairing)
(LEO; kg)
(GTO; kg)
(Mil. USD)
minimal Price/kg
minimal Price/kg
Success ratio

Sources for this table are from Space Launch Report and SpaceX and footnoted here. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Payload capabilities

  • LEO, 200 km (120 mi), 28 degrees:        4,100 kg (9,000 lb)[1]
  • GTO, 36,000 km (22,000 mi) 9 degrees: 1,050 kg (2,310 lb)[3]

Related launch vehicle plans

Although an original Falcon 5 was never built, in December 2011 Stratolaunch Systems announced that they planned to develop a four- or five-engine Falcon 9-derivative two-stage liquid-fueled air-launched launch vehicle to be developed by SpaceX.[9] The launch vehicle was planned to be "along the lines of the company's Falcon 4 [sic] or Falcon 5,"[10] and was to have been capable of launching a 6,100 kilograms (13,500 lb) payload into low earth orbit.[11]

The air-launched rocket concept was eventually named the Falcon 9 Air, and was being designed to have only four Merlin 1D engines. However, development was halted in late 2012 when SpaceX and Stratolaunch "amicably agreed to end [their] contractual relationship because the [Stratolaunch] launch vehicle design [had] departed significantly from the Falcon derivative vehicle envisioned by SpaceX and does not fit well with [SpaceX's] long-term strategic business model."[12]


  1. ^ a b Kyle, Ed (5 July 2010). "SpaceX Falcon Data Sheet". Space Launch Report. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  2. ^ "SpaceX announces the Falcon 9 fully reusable heavy lift launch vehicle" (Press release). SpaceX. 8 September 2005. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Wade, Mark. "Falcon 5". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  4. ^ "SpaceX Falcon Data Sheet". Space Launch Report. 5 July 2007. 
  5. ^ "Monster Progress Update (Mostly Falcon 9)". SpaceX. 17 August 2007. 
  6. ^ "Falcon 1 Overview". SpaceX. 28 September 2007. 
  7. ^ "Falcon 9 Overview". SpaceX. 28 September 2007. 
  8. ^ "Falcon 9 Heavy Overview". SpaceX. 28 September 2007. 
  9. ^ Bergin, Chris (13 December 2011). "Stratolaunch introduce Rutan designed air-launched system for Falcon rockets". Archived from the original on 14 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  10. ^ Chow, Denise (13 December 2011). "Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Unveils Giant Plane for Private Space Launches". (New York). Archived from the original on 14 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  11. ^ Mecham, Michael (13 December 2011). "Stratolaunch Aims to Break Affordability Barrier". Aviation Week (New York). Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  12. ^ Rosenberg, Zach (27 November 2012). "Stratolaunch and SpaceX part ways". Flight Global. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.