International Business Times hints at what the first commercial satellite means for the future of space:
After two failed launch attempts due to technical glitches last week, the 22-story Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:41 p.m. EST. The rocket carried a 7,000-pound communications satellite called “SES-8,” owned by Luxembourg-based SES S.A., the world’s second-largest telecommunications satellite company, which operates a fleet of 54 geostationary satellites. Previously, SES satellites were launched mostly aboard Russian Proton and European Ariane rockets paying substantially more for the service than the $55 million the company paid SpaceX for this launch.
and the Reuters coverage contains an interesting reminder about space corporations:
SpaceX’s launch schedule includes nearly 50 missions, worth about $4 billion. About 75 percent of the flights are for commercial customers.
The company needs one more successful launch of its upgraded Falcon rocket to be eligible to compete to carry the U.S. military’s largest and most expensive satellites, a market now monopolized by United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.