SpaceX will have to keep waiting for a payday on its hard-won U.S. Air Force certification.
United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed, has landed an $882 million contract to continue launching satellites for the Air Force on ULA’s Delta IV and Atlas V rockets. The contract, announced Sept. 29 by the Pentagon, covers comprehensive launch services through Sept. 30, 2017.
There was no estimate of the number of launches anticipated under the pact, which covers support services in Littleton, Colo., and missions from Vandenberg Air Force base in California and Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida.
SpaceX won Air Force certification of its Falcon 9 rocket for military- and spy-sat launches in May after suing to accelerate its certification review.
Theoretically, that ended ULA’s monopoly on such work. But SpaceX had a high-profile explosion in June, and that’s put a temporary halt to its rocket launches.