Los Angeles Business Journal

SpaceX Signs Rocket Contract with Intelsat

By Deborah Crowe Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Space Exploration Technologies on Tuesday said it has signed the first commercial contract for its large Falcon Heavy rocket with satellite services giant Intelsat.

Intelsat, a Luxembourg company with Washington, D.C. administrative headquarters, is considered the world's largest provider of fixed satellite services. Space Exploration or SpaceX, the Hawthorne company which last week used its smaller Falcon 8 rocket to launch its Dragon capsule to the International Space Station, will supply a Falcon Heavy rocket that will launch an Intelsat satellite into a low Earth orbit commonly used for communications satellites.

The Falcon Heavy is considered the most powerful rocket in the world by the amount of weight it can lift, and historically is second only to the Apollo-era Saturn V moon rocket, the company said.

"The Falcon Heavy has more than twice the power of the next largest rocket in the world,” said Chief Executive Elon Musk in a statement. "With this new vehicle, SpaceX launch systems now cover the entire spectrum of the launch needs for commercial, civil and national security customers."