SpaceX to launch satellite to open up space launch market

The mission if successful could lower costs of space launches and make such services available to developing nations who have a growing need to place satellites for telecommunication services.

By Ananth Baliga

Nov. 25 (UPI) -- California-based SpaceX will launch its Falcon 9 rocket Monday, to put the SES-8 satellite in orbit, opening up the global market for launching satellites..

The rocket will take an SES satellite and place it geostationary orbit. The satellite will provide television services to SES customers in India and parts of South East Asia.


"The entry of SpaceX into the commercial market is a game-changer -- it is going to really shake the industry to its roots," said SES CTO Martin Halliwell.

But being a first time launch, there could be complications.

"We've done everything we can possibly think of to maximize the reliability of this launch," said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and chief designer.

SpaceX has sent several spacecrafts to the International Space Station, which is 250 miles above Earth. SpaceX has been trying to break into a tight market, at present dominated by Europe's Arianespace and the International Launch Services.

SpaceX has promised to provide the same services at a much lower cost, and already has orders for future spaceflights. Its manifest, which is approaching 50 flights, represents about $4bn in contracts. The SES launch is part of a four-launch contract.


"Other launch vehicle providers are looking with great interest in the success, or not, of this launch, and I think they will be rather worried for their future," said Halliwell.

SpaceX will have a live webcast of the launch set for 17:37 p.m. EST from Florida's Cape Canaveral.

[SpaceX] [BBC]

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