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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk   (Source: canada.com)
Under the new deal, an Intelsat satellite will launch into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO)

After a successful launch to the International Space Station (ISS), private rocket company SpaceX signed an agreement with satellite service provider Intelsat for its Falcon Heavy rocket.

The Falcon Heavy rocket is the world's most powerful rocket and represents SpaceX's entry into the heavy lift launch vehicle arena. The Falcon Heavy rocket can carry satellites and other spacecraft weighing over 53 metric tons to Low Earth Orbit.

"SpaceX is very proud to have the confidence of Intelsat, a leader in the satellite communication services industry," said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO. "The Falcon Heavy has more than twice the power of the next largest rocket in the world. With this new vehicle, SpaceX launch systems now cover the entire spectrum of the launch needs for commercial, civil and national security customers."

The agreement between SpaceX and Intelsat represents the first commercial contract for the Heavy Falcon rocket. Under the new deal, an Intelsat satellite will launch into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).

"Timely access to space is an essential element of our commercial supply chain," said Thierry Guillemin, Intelsat CTO. "As a global leader in the satellite sector, our support of successful new entrants to the commercial launch industry reduces risk in our business model. Intelsat has exacting technical standards and requirements for proven flight heritage for our satellite launches. We will work closely with SpaceX as the Falcon Heavy completes rigorous flight tests prior to our future launch requirements."

SpaceX completed a major milestone last week when its Dragon cargo capsule successfully launched toward the ISS and docked at the space station. The Dragon is the first private spacecraft to deliver supplies and attach to the ISS. The company sought to replace NASA's space shuttle fleet after all three space shuttle's were retired last year.

Source: SpaceX



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Hang on a minute...
By maven81 on 5/30/2012 12:09:19 PM , Rating: 2
"The Falcon Heavy rocket is the world's most powerful rocket"

I'm a huge fan of SpaceX, but unless they've built one already, and are keeping it secret, as far as I know right now it only exists on the drawing board. I mean sure, it's an extension of the existing Falcon 9, but it hasn't flown yet. Seems strange to talk about it as if it already exists.




RE: Hang on a minute...
By hduser on 5/30/2012 12:26:00 PM , Rating: 4
While it doesn't exist in real life yet, but it's just 3 clustered Falcon 9s.


RE: Hang on a minute...
By hartleyb on 5/30/2012 2:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
It already exist, they have been testing the engines for months with NASA (@ John C Stennis). Once the engines pass all required measures its a matter of full assembly, and a couple of test flights.


RE: Hang on a minute...
By Natch on 5/30/2012 3:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
All I've got to say, is that's one big falcon rocket! ;)


RE: Hang on a minute...
By TheSev on 5/30/2012 8:31:33 PM , Rating: 3
Gives new meaning to the phrase "Falcon Pawnch!"

Amirite?


Free market
By Ammohunt on 5/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: Free market
By StormyKnight on 5/31/2012 12:24:49 AM , Rating: 2
Are you talking nationally or internationally? Just because one company is building rocket systems in the USA doesn't make it a monopoly.


RE: Free market
By Reclaimer77 on 5/31/2012 11:06:15 AM , Rating: 2
Please never post again. Thank you.


RE: Free market
By Amiga500 on 5/31/2012 12:54:10 PM , Rating: 2
Arianespace?

Roscosmos?


RE: Free market
By geddarkstorm on 5/31/2012 1:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
Heard of the United Launch Alliance?


good for them
By kattanna on 5/31/2012 10:32:38 AM , Rating: 4
getting an order from intelsat so soon is a huge win for them. congrats!




RE: good for them
By FPP on 6/1/2012 9:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
That's exactly correct. Having them put their cash where others mouths are speaks volumes to what the payload community thinks about Spacex, no matter what the pundits think. They realize ULA is a nice word for monopoly and they see cost cutting and better reliability. Try to rememeber that Musk has engineeered a total launch system, from 910 lbs to 65,0000 in LEO with nothing more than a single engine and tank family, and his "fire-check" system and engine cluster concept weeds should cut his launch failures in half, or better.


Saturn V payload comparison
By dasgetier on 5/31/2012 12:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
119 metric tons to LEO, hmm..




RE: Saturn V payload comparison
By unsprung on 5/31/2012 2:19:19 AM , Rating: 2
It also cost about ~5X more per kg of payload.


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