Satellite Technology Feature Article
Three More SES Satellites to Launch on SpaceX's Falcon Rockets
By Shamila Janakiraman, TMCnet Contributor
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX (News - Alert)) and SES inked an agreement for the launch of three more SES satellites, on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy rockets. This launch agreement was made possible by SES’ (News - Alert) affiliate company SES-SL.
The new agreement is based on a SpaceX-SES partnership that started in March 2011 with the signing of the agreement for SES-8, expected to be launched in 2013.
The four planned Falcon missions will upgrade SES’ global fleet of satellites.
“SES was the first leading commercial satellite operator to place a launch contract with SpaceX and we eagerly await the launch of SES-8 in 2013,” said Romain Bausch, president and CEO at SES. “This new contract is a testament to our belief in SpaceX’s product and technical abilities. It also confirms SES’ priority for diversification of launch service providers and for securing timely access to space.”
SES is a satellite operator which delivers satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and Internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, as well as to business and governmental organizations via its 51 geostationary satellites.
SES serves the broadcasting industry through culturally diverse regional teams across the globe. They provide appropriate satellite bandwidth and satisfy service requirements.
“We’re very pleased to add these three additional launches to our agreement with SES,” said Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX. “It’s a strong endorsement of our launch capabilities and continues an outstanding partnership between our companies.”
SpaceX specializes in the design, manufacturing and launch of advanced rockets and spacecrafts. SpaceX is a launch services provider which has served the International Space Station with 40 launches to resupply, while delivering commercial and government satellites to orbit.
The Dragon spacecraft from SpaceX was the first commercial vehicle to attach to the International Space Station, achieved by four governments prior to this. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft are carrying cargo to the Space Station as the space shuttle is now retired.
It is envisaged that soon it will carry astronauts, to and from the space station for NASA.
NASA has cleared SpaceX to start making regular supply runs to the International Space Station. SpaceX has a $1.2-billion contract for up to 12 supply launches with downmass returns through the end of 2015.
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Edited by Braden Becker