SpaceX signs 1st customer for big new rocket

May 29, 2012 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration

(AP) — Space Exploration Technologies says it has signed its first commercial contract for a new rocket that will be more powerful than the one that launched the company's Dragon capsule to the International Space Station last week.

The Hawthorne, California company known as SpaceX said Tuesday it will loft a satellite for the communications services company Intelsat, using a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle.

Such launches cost $83 million to $128 million, depending on weight.

SpaceX says its Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful in the world and, historically, second only to the Saturn V rockets that launched the Apollo missions to the moon.

Last week, SpaceX launched a cargo-carrying capsule atop its 9 rocket as a test run for NASA. The capsule successfully docked with the station.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

"SpaceX signs 1st customer for big new rocket" May 29, 2012