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SpaceX and SES announce satellite launch agreement

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:37 am via: SpaceX
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Falcon 9 booster to launch SES-8 to GTO in 2013

Hawthorne, CA/ Luxembourg– As the Satellite 2011 conference kicked off in Washington, D.C., Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) today announced an agreement to launch an SES satellite using the Falcon 9 rocket.

SES is one of the largest satellite operators in the world, and the deal marks what will be the first geostationary satellite launch using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The firm launch agreement with SpaceX also includes an option for a second SES launch. It supplements SES’ existing multi-launch agreements with its traditional launch providers Arianespace and ILS.

“As a world-leading telecommunications satellite operator, SES is in a position to choose the very best. SES is known for their low tolerance to risk and cautious approach in evaluating suppliers,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and Chief Technical Officer. “SpaceX has focused on building the most reliable, safe and affordable launch vehicles in the market today. The SES deal shows that even the most conservative commercial or government customers can have confidence flying their satellites on the Falcon 9 rocket.”

States Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES: “Access to space is of utmost importance to SES, as we embark on our most ambitious fleet expansion program yet. After extensive due diligence of SpaceX’s technical and operational expertise, we feel comfortable entrusting SpaceX with one of our satellites, thereby encouraging diversity in the launch vehicle sector and fostering entrepreneurial spirit in the space industry. Falcon 9 ideally complements our roster of Ariane 5 and Proton boosters, as well as our framework launch understanding with Sea Launch. We look forward to a successful collaboration with SpaceX on the SES-8 mission and beyond.”

The SES-8 satellite is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2013 from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 at the Air Force Station at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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