Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) have announced an agreement to launch two AsiaSat communications satellites using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket in 2014.
“SpaceX is proud to be the choice of AsiaSat, a pioneer in advancing satellite communications in Asia,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and Chief Technology Officer. “We are producing the most advanced launch vehicles in the world, and the international launch market has responded--commercial launches now represent over 60 percent of our upcoming missions."
William Wade, President and Chief Executive Officer of AsiaSat, added: “We are pleased to have SpaceX as our launch partner for the two upcoming missions. We look forward to the timely and successful launches of AsiaSat 6 and AsiaSat 8, thereby expanding our fleet from four to six satellites in 2014 to provide more high quality and comprehensive satellite services in the Asia-Pacific region.”
AsiaSat 6 and AsiaSat 8 are scheduled to launch in the first half of 2014 from SpaceX’s launch complex at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, USA. AsiaSat 6 will have 28 high-powered C-band transponders while AsiaSat 8 will have 24 Ku-band transponders and a Ka-band beam. The high-powered transponders on the satellite will enable the use of small antennas on the ground. The two SS/L 1300 satellites will serve Asia, the Middle East and Australasia.