SpaceX

Falcon 9 production at SpaceX

[UPDATED with SpaceX comment] WASHINGTON: For the first time in a decade, the Air Force has opened its primary space launch program to competition. That’s something startup rocket company SpaceX and Congress have pushed for vigorously. It’s also a long-anticipated blow for the United Space Alliance — formed by Boeing and Lockheed Martin – which has… Keep reading →

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CAPITOL HILL: This morning’s Senate subcommittee mark-up of the annual defense spending bill meant good news and extra money for a host of interests, from upstart rocket-maker SpaceX to the giant Boeing company. On the bitterly contentious issue of the Army National Guard’s endangered Apache helicopter fleet, however, the Senate defense appropriations subcommittee put down a… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

The U.S. defense industry, being reshaped by declining post-war budgets, globalization, and the increased pace of technological change, must work with the Pentagon and take proactive steps to maintain our historic preeminence on the battlefield. Our industry does not easily embrace change. In fact, history demonstrates that shifts in the defense industry have largely been… Keep reading →

Falcon 9 production at SpaceX

COLORADO SPRINGS: SpaceX does not look likely to get what it most wants from Capitol Hill in its battle against the United Launch Alliance and the Air Force: more launches sooner. Support for competition between the two companies remains vibrant, with Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Jim Clapper, director… Keep reading →

Gen. Willie Shelton

COLORADO SPRING: Message to Elon Musk of SpaceX: the head of Air Force Space Command is not really happy with you, and he personally supports development of a new rocket engine that would mean the United States did not have to depend on the Russians’ RD-180 rocket engine. I asked Gen. Willie Shelton, who will… Keep reading →

Delta 4 Heavy ULA launch

COLORADO SPRINGS: After more than a month during which upstart rocket company SpaceX defined the debate about how much America should pay to launch big satellites into space, the Boeing-Lockheed United Launch Alliance crawled out from under its own rock and let fly. Feisty CEO Michael Gass sat opposite a phalanx of defense and space… Keep reading →

Atlas V launches NROL39

WASHINGTON: It is shaping up as one of the great corporate brawls in the aerospace world: snappy and feisty and hungry newcomer, SpaceX, versus the titan of heavy launch, the near-perfect expression of big corporatism, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin United Launch Alliance. The focus of their competition is obscure to most Americans: the purchase by the… Keep reading →

Delta 4 Heavy ULA launch

WASHINGTON: When you’re a disruptive company owned by a disruptive personality you tend to do things that disrupt your industry, and SpaceX and Elon Musk must be the most publicly disruptive pairing in America right now. Now he’s filing a protest against what is potentially his biggest customer, the US Air Force, for giving the business… Keep reading →

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CAPITOL HILL: The Pentagon’s top space officials told Congress today they have launched a study to ascertain if the United States can build its own rocket engines so expensive and large spy and GPS satellites don’t have to be launched using Russian rocket engines, as they are now. Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space… Keep reading →

Atlas V launches NROL 39

WASHINGTON: Ever since the Air Force restructured its launch contracts for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program with the United Launch Alliance and SpaceX, the underdog, Elon Musk, has cried foul and is pressing his case on Capitol Hill and in the media. The stakes got higher this morning during a sparsely attended hearing of… Keep reading →

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