Thu, May 31, 2012
Advanced Vehicle Provides Expanded Options For Operator Of The World's Largest Satellite Fleet
The first commercial launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will carry an Intelsat communications satellite, the two companies announced jointly Tuesday.
"SpaceX is very proud to have the confidence of Intelsat, a leader in the satellite communication services industry," said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer. "The Falcon Heavy has more than twice the power of the next largest rocket in the world. With this new vehicle, SpaceX launch systems now cover the entire spectrum of the launch needs for commercial, civil and national security customers."
"Timely access to space is an essential element of our commercial supply chain," said Thierry Guillemin, Intelsat CTO. "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."
This is the first commercial contract for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. Under the agreement, an Intelsat satellite will be launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
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A waypoint designed to permit early turns, thus allowing the aircraft to roll out onto the center of the desired track to the next waypoint.>[...]