SpaceX, Intelsat Enter Commercial Agreement for Falcon Heavy Rocket Launch
May 30, 2012 11:50 AM
comment(s) - last by
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk
Under the new deal, an Intelsat satellite will launch into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO)
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.
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