SpaceX, Astrium to Market Falcon 1 in Europe

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SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket

SPACEX PRESS RELEASE

Today 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.

About SpaceX

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 information, and to watch the video of the first Falcon 9 launch, visit the SpaceX website at SpaceX.com<http://www.spacex.com/>.

For more on Astrium visit http://www.astrium.eads.net/.

  • Dave Huntsman

    Interesting that they are talking about just the Falcon 1, and not the Falcon 1e. Falcon 1 itself is not a direct competitor to Europe’s Vega launcher; but Falcon 1e starts approaching Vega’s space. Sounds like a good move on both Astrium’s and SpacEx’s part: by constraining it to Falcon 1 only, Astrium at least has something they can offer European countries in the smaller-than-Vega market; at the same time developing a relationship with SpacEx that lets their (sometimes problematic) Italian partners know that they aren’t the only game in town. And SpacEx, of course, gets a European partner.

  • Nickolai_the_Russian_Guy

    I was curious about the competition with Vega as well. As far as I understand it though, SpaceX (check the capitalization dave) isn’t making Falcon 1 anymore, just falcon 1e. It doesn’t really make sense for them to continue both lines as they kind of compete with each other…