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SpaceX moves closer to Air Force certification for Falcon 9
Posted: Thu, Feb 27, 2014, 6:16 AM ET (1116 GMT)
Falcon 9 launch of CASSIOPE (SpaceX) SpaceX is one step closer to winning Air Force certification of its Falcon 9 rocket, a requirement for winning military launch contracts, after the Air Force accepted the first Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket launch as a successful mission. The Air Force said in a statement this week that the inaugural Falcon 9 v1.1 launch in September would count as one of the three successful launches required as part of the certification process. That launch successfully placed several satellites into polar orbit, but the rocket's second stage failed to relight after satellite deployment. The Air Force said it is still assessing the two Falcon 9 v1.1 launches since then, in December in January, but neither experienced any anomaly. Three successful launches, plus a series of reviews and audits, are required for the Air Force to certify that a rocket is qualified to launch satellites as part of its Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, currently served by the Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rockets.
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