Maiden SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket is erected
to vertical launch position at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space
Center in Florida prior to successful launch on Feb. 6, 2018. Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com/kenkremer.com
FL – SpaceX has won a competitively bid military
contract from the US Air Force for the launch of a classified US national security
payload on the Falcon Heavy rocket, the Air Force announced.
The nature and orbit of the
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell thanked the Air Force for the
is honored by the Air Force’s selection of Falcon Heavy to launch the
competitively-awarded AFSPC-52 mission,” said SpaceX President and COO Gwynne
Shotwell, in a statement provided to Space UpClose.
SpaceX announced that the launch vehicle would be the Falcon Heavy instead of
the Falcon 9.
Launch of SpaceX Falcon Heavy on debut test
from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space
Center in Florida on Feb. 6, 2018
Shotwell stated that the Air Force had approved the certification of the Falcon
Heavy for these critical and covert national security missions in defense of
behalf of all of our employees, I want to thank the Air Force for certifying
Falcon Heavy, awarding us this critically important mission, and for their
trust and confidence in our company.”
also made of point of stating that SpaceX launch costs are lower than their competitors.
is pleased to continue offering the American taxpayer the most cost-effective,
reliable launch services for vital national security space missions.”
The next Falcon Heavy launch is not expected until later
this year, potentially November or December but the date has slipped
The payload is the Air Force STP-2 demonstration satellite.
The next SpaceX launch from Florida is scheduled for later
this week when a reused Falcon 9 rocket will lift off on Friday, June 29, on
the Dragon CRS-15 resupply mission for NASA to the International Space Station.
down static fire test of the first stage engines on Sat, June 23. Read my
commercial cargo freighter is now slated for dawn Friday, June 29 at 5:42 a.m. EDT (0942 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in
CRS-15 marks the 12th flight overall for SpaceX
in 2018 and the 2nd ISS resupply mission for NASA in 2018.
Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human
spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-15 launch to ISS, SES-12 comsat launch, Falcon Heavy, TESS, GOES-S, Bangabandhu-1,
NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s
upcoming outreach events at Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL,
27-29: “SpaceX Dragon CRS-15
resupply launch to ISS, SpaceX Falcon Heavy & Falcon 9 launches, SpaceX SES-12
comsat. ULA Atlas USAF SBIRS GEO 4 missile warning satellite, SpaceX GovSat-1,
CRS-14 resupply launches to the ISS, NRO & USAF Spysats, SLS, Orion, Boeing
and SpaceX Commercial crew capsules, OSIRIS-Rex, Juno at Jupiter, InSight Mars
lander, Curiosity and Opportunity explore Mars, NH at Pluto and more,” Kennedy
Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL, evenings.
Photos for sale