USAF Still Working Toward SpaceX Certification

Air Force Space Command boss Gen. William Shelton said the Air Force likely will certify Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, to compete for military and intelligence satellite launches in December or January, reported Reuters. “It’s very difficult to pick up the pace on that,” said Shelton following his speech at a Colorado-based space conference. The Air Force also is considering the company’s “financial and auditing systems and manufacturing processes,” in addition to its three launches, reported Reuters. The company filed a lawsuit against the service in late April alleging USAF’s most recent Evolved Expandable Launch Vehicle contract with the United Launch Alliance unfairly blocks other companies from participating in military launch activities. Shelton said the Air Force was surprised by the move, saying the service is dedicating $60 million and 100 people to SpaceX certification process. “Generally … the person you’re going to do business with, you don’t sue them,” said Shelton, according to the Reuters report.