SpaceX Will Be Able To Reuse Rockets in Pentagon Missions

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SpaceX will be able to use reusable rockets when launching missions for the US Space Force, with permission granted by the Pentagon. The first takeoff is scheduled to take place next Thursday (17), in Florida.

Used in several commercial missions carried out by Elon Musk’s company, the Falcon 9 rocket is known for its ability to be reused in other launches after returning safely to the ground. However, the startup was prohibited from taking him on trips contracted by the US military.

In an interview with CNBC, Pentagon Deputy Director of Missions Walter Lauderdale revealed that he allowed SpaceX to use reusable rockets to launch military payloads last year. According to him, the authorization was only given after the government got to know better the “renewal processes” of the booster.

At the time, the US Space Force and the company agreed that the authorization would be valid for the next two flights of the GPS III program. By changing the contract, avoiding the use of a new booster for each mission, the military estimates savings of $64 million.

Permission for next releases

With the authorization given by the Pentagon, the same booster used in the previous Space Force mission is scheduled to take off that will take another GPS satellite into space on Thursday. The procedure should be maintained in future contracts with SpaceX.

“There are no other restrictions,” Lauderdale said, referring to the use of the Falcon 9 on subsequent flights contracted by the unit. He also commented that the government is open to the use of other propellants developed by the company, including those intended for commercial missions.

The GPS III program will replace all 31 GPS network satellites currently operating in orbit. Five of the six launches made so far were carried out by SpaceX, while the other was in charge of the United Launch Alliance, formed by Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

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