SpaceX signs 1st customer for big new rocket

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HAWTHORNE, Calif. (AP) — Space Exploration Technologies says it has signed its first commercial contract for a new rocket that will be more powerful than the one that launched the company's Dragon capsule to the International Space Station last week.

The Hawthorne, Calif., company known as SpaceX said Tuesday it will loft a satellite for the communications services company Intelsat, using a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle.

Such launches cost $83 million to $128 million, depending on weight.

SpaceX says its Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful rocket in the world and, historically, second only to the Saturn V rockets that launched the Apollo missions to the moon.

Last week, SpaceX launched a cargo-carrying capsule atop its Falcon 9 rocket as a test run for NASA. The capsule successfully docked with the space station.

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