Los Angeles Business Journal

SpaceX Gets Contract for European Satellite Launches

By Deborah Crowe Originally published September 12, 2012 at 1:04 p.m., updated September 12, 2012 at 1:49 p.m.

Space Exploration Technologies and European communications satellite operator SES on Wednesday announced an agreement to launch three satellites on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy rockets, starting in 2015.

This is the second launch contract that the Hawthorne private rocket company has signed with SES, which is based in Luxembourg and primarily provides satellite TV services. The initial contract for one satellite, signed last year, was the first SpaceX reached with a commercial operator. That mission is scheduled to launch next year.

“This new contract is testimony to our belief in SpaceX’s product and technical abilities,” said SES Chief Executive Romain Bausch in a statement.

SpaceX also is a leading contender to gain the lion’s share of business from NASA to supply the International Space Station. The company successfully completed a test supply mission to the station in May.

SpaceX was founded by L.A. billionaire Elon Musk, who serves as its chief executive.