[Satellite TODAY 05-31-12] SpaceX
has signed a contract with FSS operator Intelsat
to launch a satellite once the launch company’s new Falcon Heavy rocket is complete, SpaceX confirmed May 30.
The Falcon Heavy will be responsible for taking Intelsat’s satellite up to a into geosynchronous transfer orbit.
SpaceX, which recently launched a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule demonstration for NASA, did not disclose the timing of the launch with Intelsat, though SpaceX Spokeswoman Kirstin Brost Grantham said the Falcon Heavy rocket would not be ready for some time.
“Timely access to space is an essential element of our commercial supply chain,” Intelsat CTO Thierry Guillemin said in a statement. “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.”