SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket seems to be a hit with satellite companies

This maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy was a success.

Enlarge / This maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy was a success. (credit: SpaceX)

When the Falcon Heavy rocket launched for the first time in February, some critics of the company wondered what exactly the rocket's purpose was. After all, the company's Falcon 9 rocket had become powerful enough that it could satisfy the needs of most commercial customers. One such critic even told me, "The Falcon Heavy is just a vanity project for Elon Musk."

At the time, the rocket only had a couple of launches on its manifest, including the 6-ton Arabsat 6A satellite for Arabsat of Saudi Arabia, and the Space Test Program-2 mission for the US Air Force. However, since that time SpaceX has seen the rocket certified for national security missions by the US military and has signed several additional launch contracts.

Last week, the Swedish satellite company Ovzon signed a deal for a Falcon Heavy launch as early as late 2020 for a geostationary satellite mission. And just on Friday, ViaSat announced that it, too, had chosen the Falcon Heavy to launch one of its future ViaSat-3 satellite missions in the 2020 to 2022 time frame.

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