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posted by n1 on Monday April 10 2017, @10:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the what-goes-up dept.

The US Air Force is open to buying rides on previously flown SpaceX rockets to put military satellites into orbit, a move expected to cut launch costs for the Pentagon, the head of the Air Force Space Command said on Thursday. [...] "I would be comfortable if we were to fly on a reused booster," General John "Jay" Raymond told reporters at the USSpace Symposium in Colorado Springs. "They've proven they can do it. ... It's going to get us to lower cost."

SpaceX has so far won three launch contracts to fly military and national security satellites - business previously awarded exclusively to United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. All those flights will take place on new Falcon 9 rockets.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @10:00AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @10:00AM (#492203)

    ULA, feeling the pressure? :p

    Never mind ULA. The Russians are feeling major pressure here! Just over a year ago there was a story on talking about SpaceX and how they are wasting resources on trying to land their rocket. It was right after SpaceX booster crashed onto the landing platform after a geostationary launch. The article talked how Musk must be crazy and how he's financially sinking SpaceX by wasting resources on impossible adventures :)

    Reusable boosters are the greatest thing in space launch systems since Gagarin orbited Earth for the first time or when Apollo actually landed on the moon. But this is even more important. Reusable rockets, if they can actually be used for 100x before they disintegrate, are vital for the orbital fuel depot. If you can keep launching cheap rockets with cheap fuel to put fuel in orbital depot, that opens up the solar system for our little ape creatures. The cost for 1L of fuel to orbit could drop from $10,000 to $200-$500 -- the military paid as much to get fuel to remote operating bases *on earth*!

    So yes, this is huge huge huge. It actually makes colonizing Mars a possibility instead of an improbability (even without any new super rockets)