Author Topic: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market  (Read 17260 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

Monday, June 13, 2011

For Immediate Release



SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market

 

HAWTHORNE, CA – Thai satellite company THAICOM Plc. (SET Index: THCOM) has chosen Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to launch the new Thaicom 6 telecommunications satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) from its Cape Canaveral launch site in the second quarter of 2013.

 

The contract brings another international launch to the United States to fly with SpaceX. Thaicom is the eighth non-U.S. customer manifested for upcoming flights aboard the Falcon 9.

 

“This deal highlights the confidence that satellite operators have in SpaceX capabilities, and is the latest example of the effect SpaceX is having on the international commercial launch market,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX chief executive officer (CEO) and chief technical officer (CTO). “Asia is a critical market and SpaceX is honored to support its growing launch needs with a reliable U.S.-based solution.”

 

The Thaicom 6 satellite is designed to serve the growing satellite television market in South and South-East Asia, as well as Southern Africa. Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, VA , and expected to weigh about 3,200 kilograms at launch, the satellite will operate from 78.5 degrees east and carry 18 C-band and eight Ku-band transponders. Thaicom 6 is planned to be in service by the middle of 2013.

 

Arak Chonlatanon, CEO of Thaicom Plc., said, “The Falcon 9 will serve our unique needs at Thaicom. This dedicated launch vehicle is both cost-effective and best-matched to our requirements. We look forward to working closely with the SpaceX team to ensure that the Thaicom 6 satellite will be successfully launched.”

 

About SpaceX

SpaceX is the leading American space transport company, advancing the boundaries of space technology through its Falcon launch vehicles and Dragon spacecraft. Following the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, the Falcon 9 / Dragon system, will take over delivery of initially cargo and later astronauts to the International Space Station.

 

In April 2011, SpaceX announced its plans to design, build and launch the Falcon Heavy – the world’s largest rocket since the Saturn V moon rocket. The Falcon Heavy will have the ability to carry payloads weighing over 53 metric tons to orbit, offering more than twice the performance of other commercial providers. The Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon spacecraft together will ensure the U.S. maintains leadership in the dynamic global space marketplace. For more information, visit www.spacex.com.

 

About Thaicom

Thaicom Plc. is a leading satellite and telecommunications operator with customers throughout Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe. Currently, the company operates two satellites, Thaicom 4 (iPSTAR), one of the largest communications satellites ever launched, and Thaicom5. Thaicom 4 delivers broadband services to millions of users across 14 countries in Asia and the Pacific.  The satellite has a bandwidth capacity of more than 45 gigabits. Established in 1991, the company provides satellite communications and related services, Internet-related services and media, as well as telephone services in neighboring countries. Thaicom is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) under THCOM.

For more information, please visit the company's website www.thaicom.net and www.ipstar.com

Offline Danderman

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #1 on: 06/13/2011 02:59 PM »
This is a major coup for SpaceX.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #2 on: 06/13/2011 03:17 PM »
Isn't this a direct takeaway from Ariane? Thought they were using  their birds.
DM

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #3 on: 06/13/2011 03:28 PM »
This is a major coup for SpaceX.


The coup is getting somebody to believe that they can launch 6-8 missions before this one.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #4 on: 06/13/2011 03:34 PM »
Funny, SpaceX hasn't put the press release on there web page yet... Good news for them.
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Offline Scia

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #5 on: 06/13/2011 03:36 PM »
Hopefully this company will finally bring down launch costs.

It seems more likely every news story I hear about them.

Here's hoping for more good news in the future.

Offline 2552

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #6 on: 06/13/2011 03:37 PM »
Funny, SpaceX hasn't put the press release on there web page yet... Good news for them.

Has been tweeted though:

http://twitter.com/#!/SpaceXer/status/80295292884361217

Quote
@SpaceXer SpaceX
Thai satellite company THAICOM has chosen SpaceX to launch new Thaicom 6 telecom satellite into GTO from Cape Canaveral in 2013.
6 minutes ago via web

http://twitter.com/#!/SpaceXer/status/80296848765628416

Quote
@SpaceXer SpaceX
Thaicom is the eighth non-U.S. customer manifested for upcoming flights aboard the Falcon 9.
1 minute ago via web

Offline Danderman

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #7 on: 06/13/2011 03:42 PM »
This is a major coup for SpaceX.


The coup is getting somebody to believe that they can launch 6-8 missions before this one.

As usual, SpaceX will delay this launch, and I am hopeful that their contract with ThaiCOM takes that into account.

Offline tigerade

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #8 on: 06/13/2011 03:57 PM »
It looks like this press release has been posted on the SpaceX website.

How can SpaceX handle another customer?  I don't think you can launch 40-50 satellites when you have 1-2 launches a year.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #9 on: 06/13/2011 04:13 PM »
I don't think you can launch 40-50 satellites when you have 1-2 launches a year.

Aaah, the 20-50 year plan ;)

btw. The Orbital press release http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=25503.0

Glad to see the two working together.
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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #10 on: 06/13/2011 05:52 PM »
Orbital's press release doesn't even mention Space-X as the launch provider.
Tony De La Rosa

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #11 on: 06/13/2011 05:56 PM »
Orbital's press release doesn't even mention Space-X as the launch provider.

Because the spacecraft customer bought the launch service and not OSC

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #12 on: 06/13/2011 06:04 PM »
It looks like this press release has been posted on the SpaceX website.

How can SpaceX handle another customer?  I don't think you can launch 40-50 satellites when you have 1-2 launches a year.

Well, it looks like this SAT is being built on Orbital's standard platform. I can't see much delay haviing the bird ready. Will SpaceX finally have the Fairing developed for the F9 by 2013 ? Is 2 calendar years enough time with all the other distractions they have going on ?

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #13 on: 06/13/2011 06:19 PM »
I used to get excited at these announcements, not any more.

All I care about any more are milestones for COTS/CRS and launches, everything else is just PR.
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Offline MP99

This is a major coup for SpaceX.

The coup is getting somebody to believe that they can launch 6-8 missions before this one.

 ;D

cheers, Martin

Offline Antares

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #15 on: 06/13/2011 07:23 PM »
Will SpaceX finally have the Fairing developed for the F9 by 2013? Is 2 calendar years enough time with all the other distractions they have going on?

I used to get excited at these announcements, not any more.  All I care about any more are milestones for COTS/CRS and launches, everything else is just PR.

Welcome to the dark side   ;D
Here's hoping SpaceX makes this date, while not actually expecting them to.
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Offline baldusi

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #16 on: 06/13/2011 09:23 PM »
That's like when I bet against my team. If they win, I will not care for the loss. And if they lose, at least I have the monetary consolation.

Offline Halidon

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #17 on: 06/13/2011 09:43 PM »
More paying customers is "just PR" for a launch provider?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #18 on: 06/13/2011 10:18 PM »
I agree. More paying customers (no doubt paying some in advance) is definitely better for SpaceX. Besides the advance payment, they can also use this contracted business to go to a bank and get the capital that they need to further their business.

They are definitely taking much longer than I'd wish to get their launch rate to a respectable level (6 flights a year), but by having another customer sign up, they now have more working capital with which to increase their launch frequency... if that means hiring more people, expanding their manufacturing facilities, expanding their test facilities, etc.

This news is definitely good news for SpaceX.

(But they had better buckle down and get 'er done!!!)
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline beancounter

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Re: SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market
« Reply #19 on: 06/14/2011 02:48 AM »
I agree. More paying customers (no doubt paying some in advance) is definitely better for SpaceX. Besides the advance payment, they can also use this contracted business to go to a bank and get the capital that they need to further their business.

They are definitely taking much longer than I'd wish to get their launch rate to a respectable level (6 flights a year), but by having another customer sign up, they now have more working capital with which to increase their launch frequency... if that means hiring more people, expanding their manufacturing facilities, expanding their test facilities, etc.

This news is definitely good news for SpaceX.

(But they had better buckle down and get 'er done!!!)

Interesting the knockers when a U.S. company wins back international business.  Sounds particularly like sour grapes to me.
SpaceX has launched satellites and built fairings.  I don't see those things as difficult for SpaceX anymore.  Certainly not more difficult that designing, manufacturing, launching and returning to Earth, a spacecraft.  Schedule slip is expected (where were the cries of horror for the slips on Shuttle and Cx - silence was deafening) and no doubt the companies signing up with SpaceX are well aware of that risk.  I think you'll see the company ramp up and meet its committments next year.  It's doing things now like enlarging McGregor and moving it's machine shop to provide more manufacturing room.  I think many give the company insufficient credit for what they've already done and I think those persons have totally underestimated them.
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