FIRST ORBITAL CLASS ROCKET CAPABLE OF REFLIGHT
Falcon 9 is a reusable, two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond. Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital class reusable rocket. Reusability allows SpaceX to refly the most expensive parts of the rocket, which in turn drives down the cost of space access.
Falcon 9’s first stage incorporates nine Merlin engines and aluminum-lithium alloy tanks containing liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) propellant.Falcon 9 generates more than 1.7 million pounds of thrust at sea level.
The nine Merlin engines on the first stage are gradually throttled near the end of first-stage flight to limit launch vehicle acceleration as the rocket’s mass decreases with the burning of fuel. These engines are also used to reorient the first stage prior to reentry and to decelerate the vehicle for landing.
The Falcon 9 first stage is equipped with four landing legs made of state-of-the-art carbon fiber with aluminum honeycomb.
Placed symmetrically around the base of the rocket, they are stowed at the base of the vehicle and deploy just prior to landing.
Merlin is a family of rocket engines developed by SpaceX for use on its Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles. Merlin engines use a rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) and liquid oxygen as rocket propellants in a gas-generator power cycle. The Merlin engine was originally designed for recovery and reuse.