SpaceX launches a double-duty telecom satellite

SpaceX sent a dual-payload telecommunications satellite to orbit today, recovered the Falcon 9 rocket’s first-stage booster at sea, and narrowly missed catching the rocket’s nose cone components as they fell.

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Blue Origin strikes deal to launch Japan satellites

Blue Origin and Sky Perfect JSAT executives
Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith and founder Jeff Bezos meet with Sky Perfect JSAT CEO Shinji Takada and other executives. (Blue Origin Photo via Twitter)

Blue Origin, the space venture founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, says it has signed up Japan’s Sky Perfect JSAT for a satellite launch to geostationary orbit in the 2020s.

Today’s announcement of the deal was timed to coincide with the Satellite 2018 conference in Washington, D.C., one of the year’s top events for satellite operators and launch providers.

In its tweet, Blue Origin didn’t provide much detail about the deal, such as the pricing or the timing for the launch. But the agreement involves sending up a yet-to-be-named Sky Perfect JSAT satellite on Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket, which is currently under development.

Blue Origin is targeting 2020 for the first launch of New Glenn — which is named after the late senator-astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth.

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