ABS, the satellite fleet company has ordered their third all-electric satellite, the Boeing 702SP to be launched late in 2017 on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 space vehicle. This launch will occur before the first all-electric satellite has even proven itself in its final operating orbit, it was announced by Thomas Choi, ABS’s CEO.
He stated that he expected to sign a contract this week, and that the ABS-8 satellite (to be positioned in geostationary orbit at 116.1 degrees East) business plan exists on its merits without the need for ABS – based in Bermuda – to source a passenger for the Falcon 9 blast off. He said that SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, Ca. and ABS might source another satellite to share the blast off, but this would only serve to increase the profits of the project and is not considered vital for success.