SpaceX and Intelsat sign deal for first commercial Falcon Heavy space rocket launch

falconheavy SpaceX and Intelsat sign deal for first commercial Falcon Heavy space rocket launch

Following last week's successful shuttle mission to the International Space Station, SpaceX has secured a contract with the world's leading satellite provider, Intelsat, for the first commercial launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket.

Following last week's successful shuttle mission to the International Space Station, SpaceX has secured a contract with the world's leading satellite provider, Intelsat, for the first commercial launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket.

 
This is the first time a private company has been signed to launch a rocket of this magntitude, which is the most powerful in the world, second only to the Apollo-era Saturn V moon rocket. The Falcon Heavy is capable of lifting 53 metric tons into low orbit around the Earth or over 12 metric tons into geosynchronous transfer orbit, the latter of which is the aim under the Intelsat contract.
 
This is an extremely important deal, as it allows SpaceX to launch the world's largest satellites and opens doors to further space missions, making the company extremely attractive to a variety of international space agencies.
 
falconheavy SpaceX and Intelsat sign deal for first commercial Falcon Heavy space rocket launch
 
"SpaceX is very proud to have the confidence of Intelsat, a leader in the satellite communication services industry," said Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX. "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."
 
SpaceX is making a name for itself throughout the world and revolutionising the approach to space exploration, which has until now been limited to government space agencies, many of which are seeing severe budget cuts due to the international economic turmoil. Opening space to private enterprises allows for advances to continue to be made, indeed often at a faster pace, while not adding unnecessary debt for nations around the world.
 
NASA signed a $1.6 billion contract with SpaceX for over a dozen shuttle missions to the International Space Station in order to provide supplies to the astronauts there. It also inked a similar $1.9 billion deal with rival commercial space firm Orbital Sciences. Smaller ventures are being made by others, such as Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, which is using Android smartphones and Kinect motion trackers in microsatellites
 
The financial details of the Intelsat deal were not disclosed.
 
Image Credit: SpaceX