SpaceX Turns 10

SPACEX PR — Ten years ago today, SpaceX was founded with the goal of helping make the human race a multi-planetary species. We remain firmly committed to this goal and will do everything within our power to help make this happen.

Below we have collected some of our most memorable moments from the last ten years. As we look back, we would like to thank NASA, our customers, supporters, and those who believe in what we are working so hard to accomplish. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to an exciting future.

Elon Musk founds SpaceX in 2002 and opens our first manufacturing facility in El Segundo – at the center of Southern California’s aerospace industry.

In 2006, NASA awards SpaceX a contract under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program to develop the capability to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station as represented by the image shown here.

SpaceX’s Falcon 1 rocket becomes the 1st liquid fueled rocket developed by a private company to reach Earth’s orbit. This picture shows the nozzle of Falcon 1’s upper stage engine just as it achieved orbit, nine and a half minutes after launch.

In 2008, NASA selects SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to take over the job of transporting cargo to and from the Space Station from the retiring space shuttle. While initial flights will focus on cargo, Falcon 9 and Dragon were designed from the beginning to transport crew; every cargo flight to the Space Station gets us one step closer to this goal.

Falcon 1 delivers its first commercial payload to Earth orbit – the RazakSAT satellite for Malaysia. In this image, you see the two halves of the faring that covered the satellite during launch fall back to Earth after separating.

In 2010, SpaceX launches the first flight of Falcon 9, one of the most advanced rockets in the world. The first launch achieved a nearly perfect insertion of the second stage and Dragon spacecraft qualification unit into the targeted 250 km (155 mi) circular orbit.

Also in 2010, the second flight of Falcon 9 orbits the first operational Dragon spacecraft under the NASA COTS program, and SpaceX becomes the first private company to recover a spacecraft from Earth orbit—a feat previously only accomplished by a few nations.

The last 10 years have been an incredible experience and the next 10 promise to be just as exciting. Stay tuned for more updates on our first upcoming mission to Station, Falcon Heavy and our progress in preparing Dragon to transport crew.