Feeds

SpaceX signs deal to put its giant rocket to good use

First commercial contract for Falcon Heavy from Intelsat

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

SpaceX has signed a contract to blast off Intelsat's satellites on the back of their monster rocket the Falcon Heavy.

SpaceX Dragon on the Canadarm over Earth

Falcon Heavy is Falcon 9's big brother, a tenuous link for this pretty pic of the Dragon on the Canadarm. Credit: NASA

The deal with Intelsat is the first commercial contract for the Falcon Heavy, which is capable of lifting 53 metric tons to low Earth orbit and over 12 metric tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).

The Heavy is the big brother of the Falcon 9 rocket that lifted the Dragon cargoship off to its rendezvous with the International Space Station and is the biggest rocket in the world.

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

Intelsat, which provides satellites to media and network companies all over the world, said it would be keeping a close eye on the progress of the Falcon Heavy.

"Intelsat has exacting technical standards and requirements for proven flight heritage for our satellite launches," the firm's CTO Thierry Guillemin said. "We will work closely with SpaceX as the Falcon Heavy completes rigorous flight tests prior to our future launch requirements."

SpaceX is building a new launch pad for the Falcon Heavy at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The rocket firm broke ground on the project in July last year and the Heavy is supposed to make its way there around the end of 2012 for its inaugural flight. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.