Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) says the U.S. Department of Defense’s planned bulk purchase of Atlas and Delta rockets for launches of critical national security payloads would effectively shut it out of that market for a decade, limiting competition and wasting billions of dollars, Florida Today reports.
Congress asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office to review the plan to buy 40 United Launch Alliance (ULA) boosters over five years, starting in fiscal 2013. The report was expected to be released Oct. 17.
ULA says a bulk purchase would better leverage the government’s buying power and provide needed stability to its industrial base. But SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk says his company could launch defense missions for at least a billion dollars less per year than ULA.