SpaceX has won a potential five-year, $102 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to demonstrate technologies under a program that seeks to determine the viability of using large rockets to support the Department of Defense’s global logistics missions, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.
Under the Rocket Cargo program, the Air Force Research Laboratory will gather data on performance and environments signatures by having access to SpaceX’s orbital launches and booster landings.
The company will present cargo bay designs that are compatible with intermodal containers of U.S. Transportation Command under the contract, which includes an option for SpaceX to conduct a full-up demonstration of capabilities for heavy cargo transport and landing operations.
“Commercial vendors envision fixed point-to-point transport to established sites, a commercial service that we are certainly interested in procuring once available,” said Greg Spanjers, rocket cargo program manager at AFRL.
Spanjers noted that the Pentagon is “very interested in the ability to deliver the cargo anywhere on Earth to support humanitarian aid and disaster relief.”