SpaceX Files Protest Against U.S. Air Force Space Launch Monopoly
April 25, 2014 11:02 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: How many $$s ?
4/27/2014 10:09:27 AM
In anyone is interested, here is the senate hearing about the EELV program, with Musk, the CEO of ULA, a professor, and various senators all talking about contract, cost, etc. It was one month ago, and rather fascinating:
Note the senator from Alabama sucking up to ULA...
Thanks to M'n'M for making me aware of Musk's press conference. I'd been waiting for that after reading all the updates on the CRS-3 mission a week ago. Here it is:
It's where we first find out about SpaceX offering $90M per launch vs. ULA's $380M/launch cost.
So here's the interesting thing Musk tells us: The sole-sourced EELV contract was signed back in December, but that was held back from public disclosure
until one day after the above hearing.
I think Jason would love writing an op-ed about it all, as it's about technology, space, gov't contracts, the Air Force, and gov't favoritism all in rolled into one.
RE: How many $$s ?
4/27/2014 10:10:43 AM
EDIT: Sorry, a little posting error. The top link is where we first find out about the costs per launch.
"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
SpaceX Leases Apollo 11 Launchpad for 20 Years
April 16, 2014, 1:52 PM
NASA Cuts Majority of Contact with Russia Over Ukraine Troubles
April 3, 2014, 7:42 AM
Cat Fight: Lockheed Martin Upset Over SpaceX's Air Force Contract
December 26, 2012, 4:30 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
HTC Preps Nexus 9 With Nvidia K1 64-Bit "Denver" SoC, Android L Onboard
September 10, 2014, 10:21 PM
Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Reviews Roll In
September 16, 2014, 9:13 PM
Big Media: If You Want Privacy, You're Probably a Pirate
September 18, 2014, 2:57 PM
Apple Cripples NFC in iPhone 6, 6+ With Developer Ban
September 17, 2014, 1:00 PM
"Decepticon" Driver Triumphs Over Cops in Massachusetts Court
September 5, 2014, 12:07 PM
Latest Blog Posts
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information