SpaceX Gains Approval to Enter $70 Billion Military Market - Bloomberg Business
The Falcon 9 rocket of Elon Musk’s SpaceX won U.S. Air Force certification for national security space missions, breaking the hold on sensitive satellite launches by a Boeing Co.-Lockheed Martin Corp. venture.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is expected to bring competition to military launches after reshaping the commercial rocket market with prices posted on its website. The first contest between the two launch providers could heat up as soon as June, when the Air Force said it will issue a request for proposal for GPS III launch services.
“SpaceX’s emergence as a viable commercial launch provider provides the opportunity to compete launch services for the first time in almost a decade,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said in a statement Tuesday. “Ultimately, leverage of the commercial space market drives down cost to the American taxpayer and improves our military’s resiliency.”
Musk’s venture has fought for a role in military launches, which include satellites that let troops communicate on battlefields. The segment, estimated at about $70 billion through 2030 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, is the largest in a market that also includes civilian and commercial contracts, such as work SpaceX does for NASA.