Signaling resilience in the face of challenge, SpaceX announced a pair of orders for its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles.
The Hawthorne, Calif.-based rocket company said the new contracts include one for the launch of a communications satellite for HISPASAT, using a Falcon 9, and the launch of the Saudi Arabian Arabsat 6A communications satellite on a Falcon Heavy. SpaceX revealed the new orders on the opening day of World Satellite Business Week, an industry conference running Sept. 14-18 in Paris.
“We are pleased to add these additional launches to our manifest,” SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said. “The diversity of our missions and customers represents a strong endorsement of our capabilities and reflects SpaceX’s efforts to provide a breadth of launch services to our growing customer base.”
Though not the stuff of TV talk-show interviews, telecom-satellite launches provide core revenue for SpaceX and rivals such as Orbital ATK. The ability to attract new business of that sort is particularly welcome in light of continuing investigations at both companies into rocket explosions during recent cargo missions for NASA.
SpaceX didn’t reveal financial terms of its latest deals but said that it has more than 60 missions under contract that collectively represent more than $7 billion in revenue. The HISPASAT and Arabsat missions are expected to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in 2017 or 2018.