SpaceX Wins First USAF Contracts

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On Wednesday, Space Exploration announced that the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center has awarded it not one, but two separate Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) contracts. First in 2014, and then in 2015, SpaceX will assist in conducting first the DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) and then the STP-2 (Space Test Program 2) missions, launching each aboard the company's privately developed Falcon launch vehicles. Financial terms were not disclosed.

These missions will be the first EELV contracts ever awarded to SpaceX. Moreover, they will be the first contracts awarded by USAF to anyone other than the Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) joint venture "United Launch Alliance," since ULA was formed . USAF made the awards as part of the Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 (OSP-3), which was designed to attract new entrants to the business of running space launches for the military, and creating competition with ULA.

In a statement, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said: "SpaceX deeply appreciates and is honored by the vote of confidence shown by the Air Force in our Falcon launch vehicles."

SpaceX was the first non-state actor  to successfully launch a rocket into space and orbit the Earth. It was founded by Musk, a former co-founder of PayPal, and the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) .


Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (2)

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  • Report this Comment On December 08, 2012, at 2:13 PM, dbsva wrote:

    "SpaceX was the first non-state actor to successfully launch a rocket into space and orbit the Earth". Orbital Science corporation privately developed and has been providing orbital launch services with its Pegasus launch vehicle since 1991.

    I wish writers had more of a clue about what has been going on in aerospace since Apollo.

  • Report this Comment On December 08, 2012, at 5:31 PM, bribery2012 wrote:

    Elon Musk's donations to Obama and other Dems seem to pay off.

    Additional to this contract his companies got more than 1 billion $ of US Government Loans and Guarantees. Costs of this: few thousands, maybe some million $. Resulting in a fantastic return of triple digit %.

    What a genius. Unbelievable that nobody before him was able to develop such a novel plan of making billions with government contracts and cheap loans in exchange for just a small amount of political donations.... but wait, people did this for centuries and it's called bribery.

  • Report this Comment On December 09, 2012, at 11:41 PM, berylrb wrote:

    @bribery, ... er ... maybe, but still the point remains that SpaceX is launching and providing the same service for millions if not billions less, this is still a win for the private sector being able to cut costs from military spending. That's good for taxpayers.

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