Thursday, September 07, 2017

SpaceX set to launch the X-37B, the Pentagon’s secretive autonomous space drone - The Washington Post

A major SpaceX milestone

"For nearly a decade, the United Launch Alliance, the joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, had a monopoly on Pentagon launches. SpaceX filed suit against the Air Force for the right to compete. In 2015, the parties settled and SpaceX was ultimately allowed to compete against ULA, opening up a potentially lucrative source of revenue. Since then, SpaceX has won two of three contested launch contracts.

While the launch of the X-37B was not competed — ULA President Tory Bruno has said that his company was not given the option to bid — it marks SpaceX’s first military mission after years of launching payloads for NASA and commercial satellites. All four of the X-37B's previous launches were aboard ULA's Atlas V rocket.

The Pentagon said it was grateful to have two companies with the ability to launch, introducing competition, and lower prices."
SpaceX set to launch the X-37B, the Pentagon’s secretive autonomous space drone - The Washington Post
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