Space launch company SpaceX and Asian satellite operator AsiaSat are to launch two AsiaSat communications satellites using SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket in 2014.
Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and CTO, said: "SpaceX is proud to be the choice of AsiaSat, a pioneer in advancing satellite communications in Asia. We are producing the most advanced launch vehicles in the world, and the international launch market has responded--commercial launches now represent over 60% of our upcoming missions."
William Wade, president and CEO 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.