First Falcon-1 Launch Success for SpaceX

Five years ago yesterday — September 28, 2008 — a Falcon 1 rocket lifted off from Omelek island in the Kwajalein Atoll on its first successful demonstration flight.


(Falcon 1 launch of Demosat. Image from Wikimedia Commons.)

Its payload, appropriately named Demosat, was a small pathfinder model made of aluminum that was also named “Ratsat.” The dummy spacecraft was bolted to the upper stage of the Falcon launcher, since it did not need to be placed in its own operational orbit.

This launch was the fourth attempt for SpaceX’s Falcon 1 vehicle, and the first one to successfully achieve orbit.

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