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Falcon 9 to launch first geostationary satellite in 2013

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The Falcon 9 rocket. A file photo

HAWTHORNE, CALIFORNIA (BNS): Leading European satellite operator SES has signed an agreement with US space launch company SpaceX to launch its SES-8 communications satellite.

Under the agreement, SpaceX will launch the SES-8 satellite on board its Falcon 9 rocket in 2013.

This will be the first geostationary satellite launch by the Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX said.

The geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) communications spacecraft will be launched from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 at the US Air Force Station at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The new medium-sized satellite will provide Ku-band communication services to India and the Southeast Asia region.

The firm launch agreement with SpaceX also includes an option for a second SES launch, the California-based company said. It supplements SES’ existing multi-launch agreements with its traditional launch providers Arianespace and ILS, it added.

Luxembourg-based SES is one of the largest satellite operators in the world.

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