SpaceX Schedule: Falcon Heavy Rocket Will Launch Classified Military Satellite in 2020

Adjust Comment Print

To this enterprise the private company of the businessman Elon musk will receive from the military $130 million.

The announcement did not name the other party, but a report surmised it could be ULA, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

The satellite will launch in 2020 from the Baikonur space center of a name Kennedy in Florida. On Thursday, SpaceX was awarded that contract. This is the first for Falcon Heavy since it received its U.S. Air Force flight certification.

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $130 million firm-fixed-price contract to SpaceX for the launch of its classified AFSPC-52 satellite on a Falcon Heavy rocket. "On behalf of all of our employees, I want to thank the Air Force for certifying Falcon Heavy, awarding us this critically important mission, and for their trust and confidence in our company".

United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket carrying the JPSS-1 satellite sits on Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg AFB in California.

According to SpaceX, the rocket delivered on its mission flawlessly. This makes the Falcon Heavy "the cheapest enormous rocket" that the Air Force has ever contracted, notes Quartz. The company is the prime contractor on a NASA project called the Space Launch System (SLS) that would enable exploratory missions into deep space.

Musk said at the time that the Falcon Heavy completed maneuvers in space to prove to the US military that the rocket is up to snuff to launch massive, secretive payloads for the US Air Force. The test program is supposed to be an experimental launch where the Falcon Heavy will carry as many as 25 satellites.

"As big as these rockets are, we may see rockets that are even larger", says the video's host, Wren Weichman.

While it requires far less rigor than the Air Force's more secretive, national security-sensitive satellite launches, SpaceX's second Falcon Heavy launch - this time with three highly-reusable Block 5 boosters - will also be conducted with the military branch as the primary customer.