Hawthorne commercial rocket firm Space Exploration Technologies on Monday said it signed another satellite launch agreement, this time with European telecommunications satellite giant SES.
The Betzdorf, Luxembourg company will launch a satellite using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sometime in the first quarter of 2013. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“SES is known for their low tolerance to risk and cautious approach in evaluating suppliers,” said Chief Executive Elon Musk in a statement. “The SES deal shows that even the most conservative commercial or government customers can have confidence flying their satellites on the Falcon 9 rocket.”
After several delays, Falcon 9 had its first successful launch last June. In December, using the rocket, SpaceX became the first commercial firm to send a spacecraft into orbit and then retrieve it intact. The Falcon was carrying the company’s Dragon module, which the company hopes will become the vessel that supplies the International Space Station, now that NASA is retiring its Space Shuttle fleet.
Last week, as part of that effort, the company signed 10-year lease with the city of McGregor, Texas, for an additional 631 acres adjacent to its existing 256-acre rocket-engine test facility. Earlier this month, the company also hired Garrett Reisman, a NASA astronaut, as a senior engineer working on astronaut safety and mission assurance.
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