SpaceX Files Protest Against U.S. Air Force Space Launch Monopoly
April 25, 2014 11:02 PM
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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wants to break up a space 'monopoly' in which the U.S. Air Force relies on Boeing and Lockheed Martin to launch military craft into space
CEO Elon Musk announced that his company is in the process of filing a protest against the United States Air Force, targeting the military branch’s contracting procedures, with the case slated for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Specifically, Musk says the Air Force’s purchase of 36 Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV), which is headed by the United Launch Alliance as the core providers of the launches, “blocks companies like SpaceX for competing for national security launches. We feel that this is not right. National security launches should be competitive and not sole-sourced.”
President Barack Obama and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tour the Falcon 9 launch site in 2010.
United Launch Alliance
is a joint partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, and remains the only company with clearance to launch military payloads into space for the U.S. government. Instead of coming out and just saying SpaceX should be awarded launch rights, Musk wants his company to have a fair crack at earning the right to at least compete for these launches.
It’s a curious time for SpaceX, NASA, and the U.S. military – the retirement of the NASA space shuttle left the U.S. reliant on Russia for space transportation – but political tensions, including sanctions against Russia,
are further complicating the matter
. However, SpaceX successfully traveled to the International Space Station on four separate occasions, so it clearly wants to ensure it has ample opportunities for space launches.
Furthermore, Musk said using SpaceX could save taxpayers up to $1 billion, making it a cheaper method than relying on Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
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4/26/2014 3:56:07 AM
There is a whiff of Musk from the warning of Dwight David Eisenhower of the Military Industrial Complex, now embedded and in need of a lawsuit to the U.S. Federal Court Of Appeals. It does seem to me that SpaceX has standing in this with its current $19 billion dollar NASA resupply contract for 12 flights to the ISS. They recently succeeded on the 3rd Mission with extraordinary research for reusing booster rockets with impressive results and data, in addition to the primary launch goal. SpaceX deserves a hearing to provide the launch service for these military satellites at a reduced cost, securely, in an equal manner. Let the facts bare out.
RE: SpaceX filing
4/26/2014 3:54:27 PM
1.6 billion not 19.
Orbital got 1.9 billion for 4 fewer launches
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