1. Is the LOX (liquid oxygen) required for the falcon-1 launch transported or produced?
  2. If transported, how?
  3. If produced, did they set up a cryogenic oxygen plant in Kwajalein?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Producing LOX is mature industrial technology requiring well understood machinery and a power source like diesel or electricity. It's one of the standard ways to get relatively pure oxygen even if you don't need it cold, the kind of thing you could do either in a shore installation or a ship. On a rocketry scale, before solids matured serious consideration was given to launching LOX based missiles from ships. $\endgroup$ Nov 24, 2019 at 21:16

1 Answer 1


The liquid oxygen was delivered from a remote location (likely Hawaii). The source doesn't state but it would have to be by ship.

enter image description here

You might recall that the very first Falcon 1 launch attempt was scrubbed because a LOX valve opened in the storage facility and blew off too much LOX.


Based on the ensuing discussion after the abort, the team expects to get new LOX and helium delivered in time to allow for a launch in mid-December.

(Posted on November 26, 2005)

Statements by Elon Musk in December 2005 allude to a local SpaceX LOX plant which failed prior to the first launch attempt but was later repaired. h/t to Chris Stratton for the correction and providing this reference: https://www.spacex.com/news/2005/12/19/june-2005-december-2005

Pictures and text from this old, apparently abandoned blog.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Indications are that when it is shipped in, it comes from Hawaii not "the mainland". And there has been local LOX production by Spacex in the past: spacex.com/news/2005/12/19/june-2005-december-2005 "In addition, our LOX plant on Kwajalein has been repaired and is producing LOX on island again." $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2019 at 6:13
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, will fix. $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2019 at 12:17

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