Astronomy and Space News - Astro Watch: SpaceX Signs New Commercial Launch Contracts


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

SpaceX Signs New Commercial Launch Contracts

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launch on May 18, 2015. Credit: SpaceX

On Monday at this week’s World Satellite Business Conference in Paris, France, SpaceX announced two new orders for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles. The contracts include launch of a Spanish communications satellite for HISPASAT on a Falcon 9 and launch of the Saudi Arabian Arabsat 6A communications satellite on a Falcon Heavy.

"We are pleased to add these additional launches to our manifest," said Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX. "The diversity of our missions and customers represents a strong endorsement of our capabilities and reflects SpaceX’s efforts to provide a breadth of launch services to our growing customer base."

The missions are expected to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida between late-2017 and 2018. With these additions, SpaceX currently has over 60 missions on manifest representing over $7 billion under contract.

The company is now recovering from its first Falcon 9 launch failure after 18 successful missions. A faulty strut has been identified as the most likely cause of an upper-stage liquid oxygen tank rupture that resulted in a Falcon 9 breaking apart minutes after a June 28 liftoff from Cape Canaveral with a Dragon cargo capsule.

The company-led investigation continues and no launch date has been set for the Falcon's return to flight.


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