SpaceX Signs Commercial Satellite Deal

El Segundo-based SpaceX, the space company that is developing commercial rocket launch vehicles, said today that it has signed its first commercial geostationary telecommunications customer. SpaceX said that Avanti Communications Group has signed on to launch a Ka band satellite into geostationary transfer orbit on board the SpaceX Falcom 9. According to SpaceX, the deal includes up to three additional satellite launches and would be worth $150M in total. The launch for the satellite is expected in 2009. SpaceX is funded by former PayPal founder Elon Musk; the firm is in the midst of preparing for its first commercial launch, after two test runs of its Falcon 1 spacecraft.