SpaceX Wins $102 Million Contract to Demonstrate Technologies for Air Force’s Rocket Cargo Program

Image: U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force has tasked SpaceX with proving that transporting military cargo around the world on a heavy rocket might be more than just a dream.

As spotted by Space News, the agency has awarded SpaceX a $102 million contract to demonstrate the technologies outlined by its rocket cargo program, which aims to leverage the power of reusable rockets to transport cargo at speeds that traditional military aircraft can’t match. The contract will last for five years.

“The contract is not specific to any of SpaceX’s launch vehicles,” Space News explained in its coverage. “AFRL will have access to SpaceX’s commercial orbital launches and booster landings to collect key data on environments signatures and performance.”

“SpaceX also will provide cargo bay designs that support rapid load and unload and are compatible with U.S. TRANSCOM intermodal containers. The contract also includes an option for a full-up demonstration of heavy cargo transport and landing.”

The Air Force has pointed out that cargo via rocket transportation is not a new concept, but technology has advanced to a point where the idea might be feasible thanks to improvements such as expanded cargo capacity and reduced launch costs.

Source: Space News

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