It’s been over 10 years since the Air Force allowed any company other than United Launch Alliance—a partnership between mega-corporations Boeing and Lockheed Martin—to manage one of its space launch contracts. So when the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center announced that the contract for its next GPS satellite would be open to industry newcomers, Elon Musk’s SpaceX was a natural fit. In fact, Boeing and Lockheed didn’t even compete for the $82.7 million contract, according to Reuters, with the alliance “citing accounting issues, implications of trade sanctions limiting imports of its rockets’ Russian-made engines and, according to a former ULA vice president, SpaceX’s cut-rate pricing.”DH
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