SpaceX is a company that needs no introduction. When we think of the world of space and its recent effervescence, we say to ourselves that the brand of Elon Musk is the best symbol of this. Founded just twenty years ago, the company is now an integral part of NASA’s Artemis program, with the humble goal of reaching the Moon in the next few years.
But the American space agency is not the only institution in the country of Uncle Sam that has placed its trust in SpaceX. Indeed, a brand new partnership has just confirmed that the US military will launch “secret” satellites into orbit using the Falcon Heavy reusable rocket.
SpaceX and the “Space Forces” a long history
For Walter Lauderdale, head of Space Systems Command, this new partnership is a logical continuation of the story between SpaceX and the American state. The Secrets Services have already succeeded in making substantial savings thanks to the Falcon 9 rocket from the Texas brand.
In all, no less than 64 million dollars were not spent thanks to SpaceX’s preferential rate. If the certification of the army was given only last June, we have only just learned of its existence. With this agreement, it will now be possible for SpaceX to support the launch of heavier payloads.
After the Falcon 9, the Falcon Heavy will fly “on a secret mission”
If the exact terms of the contract are not known, several experts expect that a first firing of Falcon Heavy with on board “top secret” equipment will take place next October or November. If this first flight was above all symbolic, marking the start of this new agreement, it could (already) have serious consequences.
Indeed, SpaceX is not the only New Space company to bet big on this contract. This is also the case of the Boeing-Lockheed Martin alliance, United Launch Alliance. With its Vulcain rocket, powered by engines from Blue Origin, the company also hopes to receive the approval of the “Space force”.
A big contract for SpaceX… while waiting for the others
Because the contract is large. In all, no less than 37 launches should take place between 2025 and 2027. If for the moment SpaceX is not certain to have a monopoly, which surely will not be the case, the fact that the company of ‘Elon Musk to be certified first could play into the balance.
At least, each day that passes without ULA being able to prove the proper functioning of its rocket to Space Force executives is a godsend for SpaceX, which can sign contracts without the slightest competition, and therefore, set its own prices.