Friday, 18 August, 2017

SpaceX wins $96 million contract from Air Force

Elon Musk's SpaceX has landed a $96.5 million contract to launch a military satellite SpaceX awarded Contract for GPS III-3 Launch Services
Heather Davidson | 19 March, 2017, 00:12

The company launched a Falcon 9 rocket from its launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and successfully delivered its payload, communications satellite EchoStar XXIII into Geostationary Transfer Orbit.

The U.S. Air Force picked Elon Musk's SpaceX to blast a second Global Positioning System satellite into orbit, part of a broader drive to open up various other launch contracts for competitive bidding through late 2019. 39A is the same launchpad from which space flights took astronauts to the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s. The launch eventually took place on Thursday shortly after 2 a.m. EDT.

These performance factors required the Falcon 9's first-stage booster to use its maximum propellent haul. One is that the EchoStar 23 is a heavy satellite. And for the first time in two years, the private spaceflight company did not attempt to recover the rocket by landing it on ground at nearby Landing Zone 1 or at sea on an autonomous drone ship.

Even though the Falcon 9 rocket is created to be reusable, it was abandoned during separation and left to plummet back down to earth.

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Steven Lieberman, Eichenwald's attorney, compared the online attack to someone sending a bomb or anthrax in the mail. In 1997, for example, a Pokémon episode was said to have sent almost 700 Japanese children to the hospital.

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Meanwhile, Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios , who was to face Federer in the quarterfinals, has been forced to withdraw from the clash with food poisoning.

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Meanwhile, this also marks another step along the company's path to recovery after its commercial flights were brought to a halt due to an explosion that saw a Falcon 9 and an internet.org satellite turn into a fireball while still at the launch pad. Thirty four minutes after launch, the EchoStar 23 satellite was released to fly on its own.

Musk's company had won a satellite launch contract worth $82.7 million with the Air Force in 2016.

The Falcon 9 Block 5 will be the final version of the design. The $96.5 million contract is the second of nine launch contracts the Air Force plans to put up for bid throughout 2017.

Elon Musk's SpaceX won its second-ever launch contract from the US military by underbidding an alliance of defense industry giants. SpaceX is developing a heavy-lift vehicle that is equal to three Falcon 9's together.

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