Space Exploration Technologies, one of the leading players in the privatization of space travel, said Monday that it has inked an agreement to carry a Space Systems/Loral satellite aboard its Falcon 9 rocket as early as 2012.
In the mission, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 (right) will carry a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) satellite from Space Systems/Loral into space. Space Systems/Loral is one of the leaders in commercial satellites for things like high definition television and broadband.
The win (statement) comes as SpaceX had a successful test firing of its Falcon 9 rocket over the weekend. The Falcon 9’s demonstration flight could happen as early as April 12 from the Kennedy Space Center, according to the Associated Press.
Over the next two years, SpaceX has 24 Falcon 9 flights on the manifest. SpaceX will ferry supplies and satellites for NASA and commercial clients. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 along with its Dragon spacecraft (below) has been selected by NASA to resupply the International Space Station starting this year.
President Obama is repositioning NASA and plans a summit next month on U.S. space strategy. Obama’s proposed budget scraps a plan to go to the moon, but increases funding for science, exploration and aeronautics and space research.
The NASA budget phases out the Space Shuttle program and provides more help for commercial space transportation.