SpaceX’s next commercial launch set for tomorrow


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The competition heats up: Just three weeks after its previous commercial launch SpaceX is scheduled to put AsiaSat 8 into orbit at 1:25 am tomorrow.

If Tuesday morning’s launch goes well, SpaceX will follow it with another commercial launch just three weeks later, also for Asiasat.

The article above notes how this will be the first launch for Asiasat from the U.S. in more than a decade. They had switched to Russian launchers because of cost and the difficulties of working under U.S. security requirements. The security problems still remain, but might be solved if SpaceX builds its own private spaceport.

William Wade, AsiaSat president and CEO, is excited for the upcoming launches, but confirmed the company’s experience here has not been as easy as at other launch sites. Access to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for roughly 60 employees, shareholders and customers now in town — most not U.S. citizens and many who are Chinese nationals – has been difficult. “That is proving to be somewhat cumbersome,” Wade said. “We have to go through all the security clearances, which is expected, but we are finding as a foreign company that it is a bit more difficult conducting our launches there.”

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