On August 7, United Launch Alliance and SpaceX won the competition to provide launch services to the Space Force through 2027. However, a curious thing happened with pricing. ULA got $337 million to perform two missions during the first year, while SpaceX got $316 million to perform one mission. The latter amount is over twice the price that SpaceX founder Elon Musk stated in 2018 would be the maximum cost for using its Falcon Heavy rocket. It is also far above the $130 million SpaceX received that same year for a Falcon Heavy mission. All of these missions are secret, so it is hard to figure out why the amount SpaceX was awarded in August is so high. At first blush, though, it seems SpaceX may no longer be the low-cost provider for national-security launch missions. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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