SpaceX Wins $130M Air Force Launch Services Contract; Gwynne Shotwell Comments

Gwynne Shotwell

SpaceX has received a potential two-year, $130 million contract to bring into orbit a U.S. Air Force satellite.

The firm-fixed-price contract covers launch vehicle manufacturing, spaceflight worthiness activities, integration and launch operations support for the Air Force Space Command-52 satellite, the Defense Department said Thursday.

The service’s space and missile systems center received two proposals for the contract and will obligate the full contract amount using its space procurement funds for fiscal 2018.

Work will occur in California, Florida and Texas through September 2020.

The Air Force said Thursday the launch services contract is the fifth competitive procurement made through the Phase 1A strategy as part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program and that it plans to launch in fiscal 2020 the AFSPC-52 mission from Florida-based Kennedy Space Center.

Florida Today reported that SpaceX has beaten out United Launch Alliance for the classified mission.

“I want to thank the Air Force for certifying Falcon Heavy, awarding us this critically important mission, and for their trust and confidence in our company,” Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and chief operating officer and a 2018 Wash100 recipient, said in a statement.

The Falcon Heavy rocket performed its inaugural test flight in February.

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