Under the agreement, Astrium intends to work with SpaceX to market Falcon 1 launch capabilities to various space agencies and other institutional customers in Europe for launches to take place through 2015.
With dedicated launch services, customers with very small payloads can launch independently to low-Earth orbit, giving them greater control over launch and launch schedule. With the Falcon 1, these services can be provided at the world’s lowest cost per flight when compared to any other launch service provider.
“I am proud that such a prominent European leader in space transportation, satellite systems and services would choose to team with SpaceX,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and CTO. “Our agreement with Astrium opens exciting new doors for SpaceX. Together we will meet the growing demand for reliable, low-cost and dedicated launch services for very small Earth observation and scientific payloads for European institutional customers.”
Falcon launch vehicles are designed to provide breakthrough advances in reliability, cost, and time to launch. The primary design driver is reliability — nothing is more important than getting a customer’s spacecraft safely to its intended destination.