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SpaceX wins new Cape Canaveral launch contracts

Private company to launch 2 satellites


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX on Monday announced wins of two contracts to launch Spanish and Saudi communications satellites from Cape Canaveral in 2017 and 2018, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

A satellite for Hispasat will launch on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Saudi Arabia's Arabsat 6A will launch on a Falcon Heavy rocket, which is expected to fly from pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

"We are pleased to add these additional launches to our manifest," SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said in a news release. "The diversity of our missions and customers represents a strong endorsement of our capabilities and reflects SpaceX's efforts to provide a breadth of launch services to our growing customer base."

SpaceX announced the contracts at the World Satellite Business Conference in Paris, France, saying it now has more than 60 launches worth more than $7 billion under contract.

The company is now recovering from its first Falcon 9 launch failure in 18 missions. A faulty strut so far has been identified as the most likely cause of an upper-stage liquid oxygen tank rupture that resulted in a rocket breaking apart more than two minutes after a June 28 liftoff from Cape Canaveral with a Dragon cargo capsule.

The company-led investigation continues and no launch date has been set yet for the Falcon's return to flight.