Air Force adds more than $40 million to SpaceX engine contract [spacenews.com]
The U.S. Air Force has provided SpaceX with an additional $40.7 million to support continued development of the company's Raptor engine.
A Defense Department contract announcement Oct. 19 [defense.gov] stated that the Air Force was modifying an existing agreement with SpaceX, originally awarded in January 2016, by providing the company with $40.766 million "for the development of the Raptor rocket propulsion system prototype for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program."
The statement didn't include additional information about the nature of the work other than that it would be completed by the end of April 2018. The work, according to the announcement, would be carried out at NASA's Stennis Space Center, which hosts engine testing for the Raptor, as well as SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California and Los Angeles Air Force Base, home to the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center.
The Raptor engines [wikipedia.org] are one of the components needed for SpaceX's upcoming super heavy-lift launch vehicle [wikipedia.org] now known as the BFR [wikipedia.org]. Falcon Heavy uses Merlin 1D rocket engines [wikipedia.org].