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What is interesting here is that Viasat had previously had a Falcon Heavy contract, but switched to the Ariane 5 because of the long delays leading to the rocket’s first launch. That they have returned indicates that there is a strong need for a rocket that can lift this kind of large payload, even as a large part of the satellite industry is also miniaturizing.
In related news, SpaceX is reported to be negotiating for a half billion dollar loan.
Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX is seeking to borrow $500 million in the leveraged loan market, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is leading the talks with potential investors this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because plan is private. Spokesmen for Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
This is especially interesting, based on the company’s philosophy to avoid taking government development money. While Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman, and ULA recently accepted Air Force rocket development subsidies ranging from half a billion to a billion dollars for future military launches, SpaceX did not. Some reports suggested this meant the Air Force was going to exclude SpaceX in future contract bidding, a suggestion that I think is patently false.
This loan probably relates to development of the BFR, and will allow SpaceX to build it according to its desires, not the Air Force’s.