SpaceX Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg with CASSIOPE
At the time the launch was contracted in 2005, a SpaceXFalcon 1 was the planned launch vehicle. The launch was originally scheduled for 2008 from Kwajalein Atoll. The launch date slipped several times, and after SpaceX discontinued the Falcon 1, the launch was shifted to the much larger Falcon 9 in June 2010.
MDA contracted with SpaceX to put the CASSIOPE payload on the first flight of an essentially new launch vehicle —a non-operational demonstration launch.The Falcon 9 v1.1, upgraded from the original Falcon 9, is a 60 percent heavier rocket with 60% more thrust.The flight was contracted with a payload mass that is very small relative to the rocket's capability, at a discounted rate because it was a technology demonstration mission for SpaceX, approximately 20% of the normal published price for SpaceX Falcon 9 LEO missions.