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SpaceX challenges Boeing-Lockheed monopoly

Published Tue, Apr 29, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[WASHINGTON] Billionaire Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp accused the US Air Force of illegally shutting it out of the market for military satellite launches by giving a Boeing Co-Lockheed Martin Corp joint venture a monopoly on the service.

The government's contract with the Boeing-Lockheed venture, which uses Russian rocket engines, "funnels hundreds of millions of US taxpayer dollars to Russia's military industrial base, including monies that may flow to individuals on the US sanctions list", according to a complaint filed on Monday in the US Court of Federal Claims in Washington.

Mr Musk has said competition for launch contracts, which have an estimated value of US$70 billion through 2030, could save taxpayers more than US$1 billion a year. Reliance on Boeing-Lockheed's United Launch Alliance (ULA) "defers meaningful competition for years to come", according to the SpaceX complaint.

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