SpaceX drops lawsuit against the US Air Force
SpaceX has dropped its lawsuit against the US Air Force. Elon Musk’s spacecraft company claimed that the US Air Force unfairly awarded a contract to a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin to launch military satellites.
The lawsuit was filed by the firm in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in April, shortly after a deal was struck between the US Air Force and United Launch – the joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing that provides spacecraft launch services.
Musk told Congress that SpaceX would be able to provide launches for 75 percent less than United Launch.
However, at the end his spacecraft firm was not awarded the contract.
Musk said that the bidding approach that the Air Force set up made it unfair, as it gave United Launch an advantage.
SpaceX in a statement after filing the lawsuit:
“The long-term contract, which guarantees the purchase of 36 rocket cores from ULA to be used in national security launches, was granted to ULA on a sole-source basis without any competition from other launch providers,”
At the time Musk was also unnerved by the fact that Lockheed and Boeing used Russian engines for the Atlas V rockets.
“In light of international events, this seems like the wrong time to send hundreds of millions of dollars to the Kremlin,” the complaint stated.
On Friday a joint statement was released revealing that SpaceX and the Air Force finally reached an agreement that “improves the competitive landscape and achieves mission assurance for national security space launches.”
According to court records, U.S. Lawyer Common John Ashcroft mediated the settlement talks.