SpaceX has taken center stage with rocket technology and will launch more rockets than not just any other company, but any other country this year. Their growing prowess in the space industry has deserved gained the attention of the US military. After the impressive launch of Falcon Heavy in February 2018, the United States Air Force has since reached out to SpaceX with business intentions.
Since 2005, The Air Force has relied on United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy for transporting cargo into Earth’s orbit. However, that is set to soon come to an end. Falcon Heavy proved that SpaceX can launch twice as much cargo than ULA. Perhaps more importantly, SpaceX can do it for a fraction of the price.
This past June, The Air Force awarded SpaceX a $130 million order to put, “Air Force Space Command-52 satellite into its intended orbit.” The pentagon said the launch will not take place until September 2020, but this the start to something that no one could have predicted 20 years ago. A private space company, for the first in history, is set to launch U.S. Military equipment into space.
This could be the start to a very important relationship moving forward. The U.S. just recently expanded its military to include a sixth branch, the U.S. Space Force. If the new found relationship with the Air Force yields results, SpaceX may one day be of much greater use to the military branch of the Space Force down the road.