ORBCOMM, SpaceX Reach New Agreement on OG2 Satellite Launches

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Falcon 9 launch. (Credit: Chris Thompson)

Falcon 9 launch. (Credit: Chris Thompson)

ORBCOMM and SpaceX have reached a new $42.6 million agreement on for the launch of 18 OG2 communications satellites aboard Falcon 9 rockets over the next 18 months. The satellites were originally scheduled to be launched by smaller Falcon 1e rockets, but SpaceX opted not to develop the launch vehicle.

ORBCOMM disclosed the new agreement in a regulatory filing. The deal replaces one worked out between the two companies in August 2009. The launches are scheduled to take place between the second quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014.

The regulatory filing is reproduced after the break.

Item 1.01. Entry into a Material Definitive Agreement.

On December 21, 2012, ORBCOMM Inc. (“ORBCOMM”) and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (“SpaceX”) entered into a Launch Services Agreement (the “Falcon 9 Agreement”) pursuant to which SpaceX will provide launch services (the “Launch Services”) for the carriage into low-Earth-orbit of up to 18 ORBCOMM second-generation commercial communications satellites currently being constructed by Sierra Nevada Corporation (the “Satellites”). Under the Falcon 9 Agreement, SpaceX will also provide to ORBCOMM satellite-to-launch vehicle integration and launch support services, as well as certain related optional services.

The total price under the Falcon 9 Agreement (excluding any optional services) is $42.6 million, subject to certain adjustments, which reflects pricing agreed under the 2009 agreement for launch services described in Item 1.02 below. The amounts due under the Falcon 9 Agreement are payable by ORBCOMM in installments from the date of execution of the Falcon 9 Agreement through the performance of each Launch Service.

The Falcon 9 Agreement anticipates that the Launch Services for 18 Satellites will be performed between the second quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014, subject to certain rights of ORBCOMM and SpaceX to reschedule the Launch Services as needed. Either ORBCOMM or SpaceX may postpone and reschedule either Launch Service based on satellite and launch vehicle readiness, among other factors, subject to the payment of certain fees by the party requesting or causing the delay following 6 months of delay with respect to either of the two Launch Services.

Both ORBCOMM and SpaceX have customary termination rights under the Falcon 9 Agreement, including for material breaches and aggregate delays beyond 365 days by the other party. ORBCOMM also has the right to terminate either of the Launch Services subject to the payment of a termination fee in an amount that would be based on the date ORBCOMM exercises its termination right.

Item 1.02. Termination of a Material Definitive Agreement.

On December 21, 2012, ORBCOMM and SpaceX entered into a Termination Agreement (the “Termination Agreement”) pursuant to which the Falcon 1e Launch Services Agreement dated as of August 28, 2009 (the “Falcon 1e Agreement”) was terminated upon the execution and delivery of the Falcon 9 Agreement described above. The Termination Agreement provides that each party releases the other party from and against any claims or liabilities relating to the Falcon 1e Agreement.