SES gives SpaceX first geostationary satellite launch deal

March 14, 2011
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on in 2010 from launch pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES said on Monday it had reached an agreement with the privately owned company SpaceX for a 2013 launch that will be the first geostationary satellite placement using the US firm's Falcon 9 rocket.

Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES said on Monday it had reached an agreement with the privately owned company SpaceX for a 2013 launch that will be the first geostationary satellite placement using the US firm's Falcon 9 rocket.

"The SES deal shows that even the most conservative commercial or government customers can have confidence flying their satellites on the Falcon 9 rocket," chief executive Elon Musk said in a statement.

The world-leading operator "is known for their low tolerance to risk and cautious approach in evaluating suppliers," he added.

The agreement supplements SES's existing multi-launch agreements with its traditional launch providers and ILS, and includes an option for a second launch.

"After extensive due diligence of SpaceX's technical and operational expertise, we feel comfortable entrusting SpaceX with one of our satellites, thereby encouraging diversity in the sector and fostering entrepreneurial spirit in the space industry," SES chief executive Romain Bausch said in statement.

The SES-8 satellite is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2013 from SpaceX's Launch Complex 40 at the Air Force Station at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

To be placed into the orbital position of 95 degrees East, it will help respond to the strong demand for additional direct to home (DTH) capacity in Asia.

SpaceX completed in December a successful unmanned test launch of its Dragon capsule on board a Falcon 9 rocket.

The US space agency NASA signed a 1.6-billion-dollar contract with SpaceX in December 2008 under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) programme to provide 12 spacecraft with cargo capacity of at least 20 tonnes to resupply the (ISS) through 2016.

The full cargo mission to the ISS is planned for 2011.

Explore further: US space capsule launch set for Wednesday

Related Stories

US space capsule launch set for Wednesday

December 7, 2010

A US company has received the go-ahead to launch its first space capsule into orbit Wednesday, in a key test for the future of commercial space flight as NASA looks to end its shuttle program.

US private rocket readies key demonstration launch

December 1, 2010

American firm SpaceX readied Tuesday the first demonstration launch of its Falcon 9 rocket to low Earth orbit for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program next week.

SpaceX Plans Reusable Seven Person Capsule

March 15, 2006

SpaceX said it plans to develop a reusable capsule that could carry a crew of up to seven into low Earth orbit, making it a competitor to assume some of the tasks of NASA's space shuttle fleet after it is retired.

Iridium to launch new telecom satellites

June 16, 2010

US-based Iridium Communications Wednesday announced plans to launch a new fleet of satellites for global voice and data communications with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).

Recommended for you

Japan launching 'space junk' collector

December 9, 2016

Japan will launch a cargo ship Friday bound for the International Space Station, carrying a 'space junk' collector that was made with the help of a fishnet company.

Scientists sweep stodgy stature from Saturn's C ring

December 9, 2016

As a cosmic dust magnet, Saturn's C ring gives away its youth. Once thought formed in an older, primordial era, the ring may be but a mere babe – less than 100 million years old, according to Cornell-led astronomers in ...

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

December 7, 2016

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey, made with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sanescience
5 / 5 (1) Mar 15, 2011
Competence, intelligence, efficiency, American business as only America can. Go SpaceX
Beard
not rated yet Mar 17, 2011
Competence, intelligence, efficiency, American business as only America can. Go SpaceX


The founder of the company has spent the majority of his life in South Africa and Canada by the way.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.