SpaceX cleared to launch rockets reused for national security missions

SpaceX has deployed reused Falcon 9 rockets several times for trade missions, but so far it has been limited to brand new boosters for national security contracts. However, the Pentagon signed its first SpaceX mission using a reused rocket, with the launch of a GPS III satellite scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 17. CNBC reported.

The Pentagon Space Force first accepted the idea of ​​launching military payloads with reused rockets Last year, specifically for the GPS III program. “In preparation for this first event, we have worked closely with SpaceX to understand the refurbishment processes and are confident this rocket is ready for its next flight,” said Deputy Mission Director Dr Walter. Lauderdale. CNBC.

SpaceX has a $ 470 million contract with the Pentagon to launch five of the six GPS III satellites to date, the other being awarded to rival United Launch Alliance. The contract did not originally allow reusable rockets, but the military amended the contract last year to allow reuse – a move that will save them around $ 64 million.

The Falcon 9 booster piloting the payload on Thursday carried out the Space Force’s previous GPS III mission. However, the Space Force said it would not be a constraint in the future. “We are certainly open to the use of other [reused] boosters, not just the ones that flew [for Space Force]”said Dr Lauderdale.

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