Air Force certifies Falcon Heavy, orders satellite launch for 2020

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Wins US Air Force Launch Contract Worth $130 Million

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SpaceX's Falcon Heavy- the world's most powerful still operational rocket has received the approval of the US Air Force (USAF).

The certification happened on June 21, while Falcon Heavy's second flight with the Air Force's Space Test Program Flight 2 was scheduled in October. The launch will cost the USA government about $130 million, according to a statement by the USAF.

Back in 2014, SpaceX made a decision to sue the U.S. government after the military gave United Launch Alliance (ULA) a sweetheart deal for sending government payloads into space.

All work with regard to the contract will be conducted in Hawthorne, California, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and McGregor in Texas.

The contract announced by the Department of Defense on Thursday is the first awarded to SpaceX.

When SpaceX had its successful launch of its Falcon Heavy in February, one of the questions on many people's minds was who would use the huge booster and its 27 engines?

SpaceX has won the tender of the Pentagon on the launch to near-earth space satellites for military purposes AFSPC-52, and orbit will be his recently debuted heavy rocket Falcon Heavy.

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"On 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", SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement.

This is the first classified national security payload, or NSS payload, award for SpaceX's new Falcon Heavy. The company was in competition with two other that went on the bidding process.

It comes as Boeing, half of UAL, criticized the Falcon Heavy as being "too small" for deep space missions.

Falcon Heavy garnered widespread public attention during its maiden launch in February.

As reported by the Inquisitr, the Falcon Heavy is 230 feet tall and 40 feet wide, and its first stage basically incorporates three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together.

'The SLS can bring equipment into space that is too large for the Falcon Heavy'.

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