SpaceX awarded launch of U.S. Air Force X-37B space plane


Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies will fly its first mission for the United States Air Force in August this year when it launches the armed force’s X-37B mini spaceplane, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson stated.

Four previous X-37B missions were launched by United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets. ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

“SpaceX will be sending out the next Flying force payload up into space in August,” Wilson stated in webcast testimony prior to the United States Senate Armed Services Committee. She later on specified that the payload would be one of the Air force’s 2 X-37Bspaceplanes.

Launch contracts are typically revealed about 2 years prior to a flight however the Air force did not reveal the X-37B contract up until Tuesday, hardly 2 months before the flight. The Flying force refused to inform when the agreement was awarded or give other details.

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell refused to comment.

SpaceX’s first openly revealed launch contract for the Flying force was granted last year for a next-generation Global Positioning System satellite flight in 2018. A 2nd GPS launch contract was awarded in March. The contracts are worth at $83 million and $96.5 million.

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