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Hot on the heels of the successful launch of Thailand’s Thaicom-6 satellite into orbit, SpaceX has received an order from Japan’s SkyPerfect for the launch of its JCSAT-14 communications satellite. The launch is slated for the second-half of 2015.
The launch contract is another huge success for SpaceX, and if there is a winner in any contract then there has to be losers, and it means a lost contract for France’s Arianespace and Russia’s Proton rocket systems. SpaceX itself has a slew of commercial satellites lining up for launch. AsiaSat-8 (Mid-April), AsiaSat 6/Thaicom-7 (Mid-May), Amos 7 later in the year, Amos 6 next year, SatMex-9 in 2015, and so on. In other words Space-X is, at least for the time being, seeking its business from the Asia-Pacific regional operators. SES of Luxembourg has options on launches following on from its SES-8 launch back in December with a provisional date of 2015 for a suitable satellite.
As to this latest SkyPerfect craft, it is being built by Space Systems/Loral and will replace JCSAT-2A. The new satellite will have 26 C-band transponders and 18 Ku-Band transponders, the satellite will extend JCSAT-2A’s geographical footprint and address fast-growing mobility markets across the Asia-Pacific region.