(Aviation Week) Though the news was announced by the Air Force without fanfare, it is quite important. This certification ushers in what is likely to be a seismic shift in how the service executes the nation’s policy to assure that two paths are available for national security satellites to reach orbit, breaking the monopoly approved in 2006 for ULA to from the failing launch businesses of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
The United Launch Alliance is no longer the only rocket manufacturer capable of winning national security missions in the U.S. After two years, a lawsuit and a very aggressive campaign critical of the U.S. Air Force, SpaceX has finally earned its certification to compete for national security launches. The Air Force announced SpaceX’s Falcon 9v1.1 was certified late May 26. This declaration – announced unceremoniously in an emailed press release sent after business hours.
Source: Aviation Week