Thursday, May 05, 2005

SpaceX Awarded $100m Contract By USAF

In a major boost for the independent U.S. space industry, the USAF has awarded SpaceX a $100mil contract for use of their Falcon 1 launch vehicle. SpaceX expects the maiden launch to occur in late summer. Launches with the Falcon 1 are projected to cost about $6m each.

SpaceX is working on a larger rocket dubbed the Falcon 5 which they hope will be able to carry manned payloads to orbit. Bigelow Aerospace has licensed the Falcon 5 to launch a test system dubbed Genesis Pathfinder to test inflatable modules for the company's orbital hotels. Falcon 5 launches are projected by SpaceX to cost $12m each.