SpaceX lands first government launch
This is a good article because it shows this county the way to
“Stop buying Russian-supplied engines
and immediately stop paying the
“Communist country of Russia, millions of taxpayer dollars,
to send our people to the space-station!”
“You know them as the Communist country of Russia
that is taking our money to buy planes to in-danger (buzz) our ships and planes!”
contract by Jon Butler | May 01, 2016
The Air Force recently awarded SpaceX, headed by billionaire Elon Musk,
a almost $83 million contract for launch services to deliver its GPS III satellite into space,
the Department of Defense announced Wednesday.
The award was virtually in the bag for SpaceX because United Launch Alliance,
the only other company certified to launch national security payloads,
dropped out of the competition last November.
SpaceX had been competing with United Launch Alliance,
a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed that previously had a monopoly
on USA military launches.
In November, ULA said it had declined to bid for the GPS-3 satellite contract,
claiming it would not have a rocket ready by the time the launch needed to happen.
The cost of rockets from Spacex begin at $60 million while ULA’s Atlas V, it primary rocket,
costs around $164 million to launch.
Air Force officials also said the contract kicks off a return to
“competitive procurement” for its satellite launches.
They cited a number of reasons, one of them being an inability to compete with SpaceX’s cut-rate pricing.
The next opportunity for head-to-head competition between ULA and SpaceX is expected by May or June,
when the Air Force opens another GPS III launch for bids.
In preparation for this event, his commercial space exploration company is planning to put an unmanned spacecraft
on the Red Planet “as soon as 2018”.
Musk’s rocket company ultimately received certification from the Air Force later that year.
Congress, which has grown uncomfortable with relying
on Russian-supplied engines to launch the bulk of USA military and intelligence satellites,
enacted legislation in 2014 capping the number of RD-180 engines ULA can buy for future national security launches.
The Space and Missile Systems Center is the U.S. Air Force’s center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems.
That could benefit ULA, which has launched more than 100 missions without a major failure.
The spacecraft will provide improved anti-jamming capabilities, better accuracy in navigation and timing,
and a new civilian L-band signal compatible with Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system.
“Having multiple launch service providers allows the government to ultimately save taxpayer dollars
while increasing assured access to space and maintaining our unwavering focus on mission assurance”,
Greaves told reporters Thursday.