Posted: Thursday, September 9, 2010
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Astrium announced a commercial agreement to provide dedicated launch services to the European institutional small satellite market.
Under the agreement, Astrium intends to work with SpaceX to market Falcon 1 launch capabilities to various space agencies and other institutional customers in Europe for launches to take place through 2015.
With dedicated launch services, customers with very small payloads can launch independently to low-Earth orbit, giving them greater control over launch and launch schedule. With the Falcon 1, these services can be provided at the world's lowest cost per flight when compared to any other launch service provider.
"I am proud that such a prominent European leader in space transportation, satellite systems and services would choose to team with SpaceX," said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and CTO. "Our agreement with Astrium opens exciting new doors for SpaceX. Together we will meet the growing demand for reliable, low-cost and dedicated launch services for very small Earth observation and scientific payloads for European institutional customers."
Falcon launch vehicles are designed to provide breakthrough advances in reliability, cost, and time to launch. The primary design driver is reliability - nothing is more important than getting a customer's spacecraft safely to its intended destination.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is developing a family of launch vehicles and spacecraft that will increase reliability and performance of space transportation, while ultimately reducing costs by a factor of ten. With the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets, SpaceX currently has a diverse manifest to deliver commercial satellites to orbit. In addition, the Falcon 9 and SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft are under contract with NASA to carry cargo, including live plants and animals, to and from the International Space Station. Since its inception, Dragon has been developed to accommodate crew.
Founded in 2002, SpaceX is a private company owned by management and employees, with minority investments from Founders Fund and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The company has over 1,100 employees in California, Texas and Florida.
For more on Astrium visit http://www.astrium.eads.net/.
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