SpaceX You can now launch a national security satellite with a used rocket.
Elon Musk’s company has entered into a contract amendment with the U.S. Space Force, making it possible to use the launch of two GPS satellites in the future. Falcon 9 Booster Pre-flight first step. This is the first for a national security payload and will save US taxpayers nearly $53 million over the two flights, space forces officials said.
SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement emailed by Space Force today (September 25): “SpaceX is proud to utilize the Falcon 9’s flight-proven benefits and capabilities for its national security space launch missions. “I said.
“We appreciate the effort the U.S. Space Force has invested in the evaluation, and we are delighted to see the benefits of the technology,” said Shotwell. “Our extensive experience with reuse has allowed SpaceX to continuously upgrade vehicles and save valuable taxes on these launches.”
SpaceX regularly lands and reflects the first phase of the second phase Falcon 9. Falcon heavyIt has been released only three times so far and is likewise reusable. (Falcon Heavy is basically three Falcon 9 first stages tied together, with a modified central booster topped with a second stage.)
Today’s announcement marks another step in increasing space forces’ acceptance of reusable rocket technology. The military unit’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) previously signed a contract modification to allow SpaceX to land the Falcon 9 first phase during a GPS launch.
Company GPS III-SV03 mission last June, And plan to do so again for the GPS III-SV04, which is scheduled to take off next Tuesday (September 29).
The new contract modification allows the GPS III-SV05 and GPS III-SV06 satellites to ride the top of the Falcon 9, with the first stage pre-flighted, and land back to Earth after the work is completed in the upward direction. These two launches are scheduled for next year.
In the same statement, Walt Lauderdale, SMC’s Falcon Systems and Operations Division Head and Mission Director, said in the same statement, “SMC’s commitment to innovative partnerships and cooperation with the commercial sector cannot be underestimated while maintaining our mission assurance posture and mission success record. “I said.
Lauderdale said, “I am proud of the partnership with SpaceX that has allowed us to successfully negotiate a contract amendment for the GPS III mission that will save taxpayers $52.7 million while maintaining an unprecedented success record.”
Mike Wall is the author of the book “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustration: Karl Tate) on exploring extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.