New Military Opportunities for SpaceX Could Bring Jobs to Texas

January 26, 2017 – 06:17 pm

SpaceX LaunchThe United States Air Force has cleared SpaceX to conduct military space launches. Previously, only United Launch Alliance (ULA) was certified to perform these types of space missions for the military.

The California based rocket company with offices, development, and launch facilities in Texas will now be able to conduct national security launches for the government, according to a report on The Hill. The certification will likely increase jobs for the company which currently employs more than 3, 000 workers.

Air Force officials and congressional leaders are hopeful the new competition will help drive down the cost of launching military payloads. It is also expected the increased launch capabilities will reduce reliance on Russian-manufactured rocket engines.

“This is a very important milestone for the Air Force and the Department of Defense, ” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said in a statement. “SpaceX’s emergence as a viable commercial launch provider provides the opportunity to compete launch services for the first time in almost a decade, ” she said. “Ultimately, leveraging of the commercial space market drives down cost to the American taxpayer and improves our military’s resiliency.”

Arizona Senator Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called the certification “a win for competition.” As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain noted the rapidly increasing cost of launches due to the monopoly held by ULA and the dependence on Russian engines.

“I am hopeful that this and other new competition will help to bring down launch costs and end our reliance on Russian rocket engines that subsidizes Vladimir Putin and his cronies, ” McCain said.

The certification project, which cost $60 million, allowed the Air Force to have choices in launch programs. “This milestone is the culmination of a significant two-year effort on the part of the Air Force and SpaceX to execute the certification process and reintroduce competition into the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, ” the Air Force announced in a statement.


Source: www.breitbart.com

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