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SpaceX will launch top secret US spy satellites with the reusable Falcon Heavy rocket now that it's received Space Force approval


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Nov 2, 2017
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Musk vs Boing....this round to Musk---as an aside....note that the best launch booster is Russian...and this is chaffing political asses

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has won certification from the Pentagon’s Space Force to use recyclable boosters on its Falcon Heavy rocket to launch top-secret spy satellites, according to the service.
It may give Musk’s insurgent company at least a temporary edge in its latest competition with a Boeing-Lockheed joint venture that once had a monopoly on the Defense Department’s satellite launches.
Qualifying to use money-saving recycled boosters for launches of the nation’s largely classified surveillance, early warning and intelligence satellites solidifies Musk’s relationship with the Pentagon eight years after he sued to break into the military launch market.
By contrast, the Air Force is still reviewing certification for the United Launch Alliance -- the joint venture of top defense contractors Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. -- to use its Vulcan rocket with a new US-made motor from Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin LLC. The alliance plans a test launch in December. The new motor would replace the Russian-made RD-180, which is reliable but was already politically controversial in Washington years before Russia’s current war in Ukraine.

The certification for SpaceX -- which was issued in June but not previously disclosed -- allows the recyclable first-stage side boosters to be used in sensitive national security launches requiring power performance beyond that of the company’s original Falcon 9. The Space Force found that the “recovery, refurbishment, and launch of SpaceX boosters utilizes well-established processes,” the service said in a statement.

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