On the heels of what could be a turning point in the history of space flight for humans, SpaceX has signed a deal with Intelsat to launch a satellite once their new Falcon Heavy rocket is complete. The Falcon Heavy will be responsible for taking Intelsat's satellite up to a into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
"SpaceX is very proud to have the confidence of Intelsat, a leader in the satellite communication services industry," said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer. "The Falcon Heavy has more than twice the power of the next largest rocket in the world. With this new vehicle, SpaceX launch systems now cover the entire spectrum of the launch needs for commercial, civil and national security customers."
Once the Falcon Heavy is ready it will be the most powerful Rocket in the world and the second most powerful rocket of all time behing the Saturn V rockets that transported the Apollo astronauts. The Falcon Heavy will meet NASA's human rating standards as well as the stringent U.S. Air Force requirements for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. The Heavy is capable of lifting 53 metric tons (117,000 pounds) to low Earth orbit and over 12 metric tons (26,000 pounds) to GTO, Falcon Heavy will provide more than twice the performance to low Earth orbit of any other launch vehicle. This will allow SpaceX to launch the largest satellites ever flown and will enable new missions.
"Timely access to space is an essential element of our commercial supply chain," said Thierry Guillemin, Intelsat CTO. "As a global leader in the satellite sector, our support of successful new entrants to the commercial launch industry reduces risk in our business model. Intelsat has exacting technical standards and requirements for proven flight heritage for our satellite launches. We will work closely with SpaceX as the Falcon Heavy completes rigorous flight tests prior to our future launch requirements.
SpaceX really seems to be moving full steam ahead and as of right now it is by far the best option for space travel and the US government and NASA need to seriously consider letting SpaceX focus on this stuff and stick to putting people in space and on the on the moon.