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SpaceX signs 1st customer for big Falcon Heavy rocket

SpaceX released this animation photo of the Falcon Heavy rocket. (SpaceX)

May 30, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Space Exploration Technologies, a Hawthorne-based company known as SpaceX, has announced a contract to shoot an Intelsat satellite into orbit with a Falcon Heavy rocket.

It will be the first commercial launch with the Falcon Heavy. The rocket has more than twice the power of the Space Shuttle rocket. Only The Apollo-era Saturn V moon rocket produced more lift.

Last week, SpaceX used a Falcon 9 rocket to send its Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station.

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.