#ULA #US #AirForce #SpaceX #space #rockets #Falcon #bids
The partnership company between Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co., United Launch Alliance (ULA) won an Air Force satellite launch after it had previously lost two contracts to SpaceX. The contract covers launch services for multiple satellites abroad an Atlas 5 rocket in June 2019, having a value of more than $191 million.
However, SpaceX already knew that it was not going to win the bid, considering the mission required a heavy-lift launcher, and SpaceX’s falcon heavy booster has not flown yet. The heavy rocket from SpaceX is expected to debut this year. The launcher should be able to fly successfully at least once to be able to be a part of Air force bids/missions.
In the meantime, SpaceX already has plans to launch the X-37B robotic space plane for the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office this year.
I am sure that SpaceX, considering its recent and exponential rise, will work on it’s heavy booster rocket to make it certified for usage. I also wish that ULA finds the technology to upgrade, and a way to re-use rockets or reduce it’s cost in another way.