All Elon Musk's SpaceX rockets from Falcon 1 to date in pictures – including the disasters that turned into infernos

THERE is perhaps no individual more closely associated with humanity's mission to explore space than Elon Musk.

As the founder and CEO of SpaceX, Musk has overseen the development of hundreds of launches – some more successful than others.

Last month, Elon Musk bought Twitter in an attention-grabbing hostile takeover – but his other businesses are still redefining the future.

SpaceX is the second highest-valued private company in the world with an estimated worth of over $100billion dollars.

They are producing, launching and reusing rockets and charging $55million dollars for a commercial ticket.

Here is a catalogue of the best models and most disastrous failures from all 160 SpaceX launches.

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Falcon 1

The Falcon family of rockets was named after Luke Skywalker's Millennium Falcon.

The Falcon 1 design was used for five launches, two were successful and three failed.

On the third launch, the rocket malfunctioned after it separated from the first booster and it did not reach orbit.

The Falcon 1 made history on September 28, 2008 when it became the first privately-developed rocket in orbit.

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Falcon 9v1.1

The Falcon 9v1.1 was an improvement on past versions of the Falcon 1Credit: YouTube
The rocket exploded during a landingCredit: YouTube

No one said going to space and using the same rocket to do it would be easy.

SpaceX has had a string of wins lately, with successful launches and government contracts, but when you're working with rocket fuel, explosions happen.

The Falcon 9v1.1 never successfully landed.


The Grasshopper is a now-retired SpaceX prototype that provided key insights for landing a rocket.

During tests, the Grasshopper climbed up to 2,441 feet in the air and came to a safe landing, proving that rockets could be reused.

Musk used the Grasshopper to correct a statement rival billionaire Jeff Bezos made on Twitter.

Falcon 9

The Falcon 9 is the first reusable rocket of its kind – it made history as the first orbital rocket to be landed and re-launched in 2017.

In the years since, the Falcon 9 has pioneered sustainability in the spaceflight industry – one iteration of the spaceship, model B1051, made headlines for its dusty look after 10 space trips and few cleanings.

As for recent work, a Falcon 9 rocket just brought a shipment of 53 Starlink satellites to lower Earth orbit.

Falcon Heavy

The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket developed to date.

The SpaceX site boasts the rocket "can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle" and generates more than five million pounds of thrust to propel the mighty ship to Earth-exiting speeds.

The Falcon Heavy had its first test launch in 2018 and later in the flight it ejected the Tesla vehicle it carried on board – Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster is set to orbit the cosmos for centuries with the phrase "Made on Earth by humans" etched into the dash.

The Falcon Heavy's specs – three cores and 27 engines – means the rocket is capable of bringing almost 40,000 pounds in payload all the way to Mars.

The Falcon Heavy has blasted off three times and will bring the first components for Gateway space station to the Moon in 2024.


The Starship spacecraft is designed to fly SpaceX's most ambitious interplanetary missions.

In the Starship user guide, the company writes "the Starship crew
configuration can transport up to 100 people from Earth
into [low Earth orbit] and on to the Moon and Mars."

Musk has been candid about his aspirations to colonize the Moon and Mars – in 2019, he tweeted "One day Starship will land on the rusty sands of Mars."

The Starship is slated to bring Japanese mogul Yusaku Maezawa and a space tourism crew on a flyby of the Moon during a week-long journey in 2023.

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Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 with capital he earned from taking PayPal public.

The company celebrated their 20th anniversary on May 6th by launching their 17th rocket this year, leaving a "space jellyfish" in the sky.

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