Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. Falcon 9's two-stage configuration minimizes the number of separation events – and with nine first-stage engines, it can safely complete its mission even in the event of an engine shutdown.
Falcon 9 made history in 2012 when it delivered the Dragon spacecraft into the correct orbit for rendezvous with the International Space Station, making SpaceX the first commercial company ever to visit the station. Since then SpaceX has made multiple Falcon 9 flights to the space station, both delivering and returning cargo for NASA, and has successfully launched both commercial and NASA satellites.
|Falcon 9 with Fairing (click image for larger view)||The nine Merlin engine Octaweb.|
+ Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
The TESS launch date is NLT June 2018 (the current working launch date is August 2017).