HAWTHORNE, Calif. (AP) -- Space Exploration Technologies says it has been awarded a contract with Japan's SKY Perfect JSAT Corp. to launch a telecommunications satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket in 2015.

The Hawthorne, Calif.-based company known as SpaceX said Friday that the new satellite will replace an existing satellite, providing coverage to Asia, Russia, Oceania and the Pacific Islands.

"SpaceX looks forward to working with SKY Perfect JSAT on this mission," said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO, in a press release. "As Asia's largest satellite operator, we appreciate JSAT's confidence in our ability to reliably deliver their satellite to orbit."

SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk.

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