Elon Musk is at it again. It looks like he’s working with the United State’s recently established space force, nonetheless. Last week, Elon and his own SpaceX launched the first United States national security space mission.
Around nine in the morning, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral. This was after four previously scheduled launches were canceled due to poor weather conditions and technical problems. The Falcon 9 rocket was carrying around $500 million worth of military GPS satellite technology.
The success of the launch marked Elon Musk’s long-awaited induction into the lucrative industry of military space technology, which had previously been dominated by Lockheed and Boeing Co. for decades.
This isn’t the first time Musk and SpaceX have been involved with the United States military. In 2014, SpaceX sued the military over a multi-billion dollar award of 36 rocket launches to Lockheed and Boeing. The contract was initially non-compete, but the lawsuit was dropped when the United States opened up competition.
The following year, SpaceX was given $83 million to launch the military satellite GPS III, which will remain in orbit for 15 years. This satellite is the first to launch out of 32 currently in production from Lockheed and Boeing, which are all being used for military GPS purposes. According to the United States Air Force, the launch was originally scheduled for 2014 but has been delayed for some time by production.
Meanwhile, subsequent rockets are currently being tested at facilities in Colorado, and the next launch is scheduled for mid-2019. These rockets are all dedicated to the military’s GPS III project. The purpose of the project is yet to be officially announced, so only time will tell what Elon and the military are up to, but some people are claiming that Elon Musk will lead the newly established United States Space Force, recently created by President Donald Trump.