Ever since mankind came into existence, humans have been more interested in what lies up there. Having eyes and ears in space is a great advantage. It provides us with facilities for communication and data transfer via satellite, geological surveys, weather forecasting, and so on. Recently, NASA announced its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, in which vehicles with the ability to coordinate and deliver both cargo and crew to the International Space Station (ISS) are to be developed. The contract for the same was given to SpaceX, which is a privately owned space transportation company, which eventually gave birth to the Falcon 9 spaceflight. The Falcon 9 launch date is set for the 19thof May, 2012.
The Falcon 9 is a 2-stage spaceflight launch system which utilizes rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) and liquid oxygen (LOX). Presently, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station serves as its active launch site. The first stage of the Falcon 9 is run by nine SpaceX Merlin 1C rocket engines, with a pyrophoric mixture of TEA-TEB serving as its igniter. The second stage of the Falcon 9 launch, on the other hand, requires only 1 Merlin 1C engine with dual igniters of the same pyrophoric mixture as used in the initial stage.
For the upcoming launch, the Falcon 9 will be launched along with Dragon, another aircraft developed by SpaceX with an aim to delivering cargo to the ISS. The universe is still unknown to us. Quests for aliens, Earth’s sustenance, surrounding planets, and much more is still to be answered for. Let’s hope that the Falcon 9 launch helps us to take promising steps towards the future – towards the Space Age!