Elon Musk and SpaceX to Sue American Government for Monopolizing Space Funding

By Matt Paulson April 30, 2014

Groups that are planning to launch a rocket, satellite or even an astronaut into space have always had to negotiate with the United States Air Force so that they could be awarded a launch contract. However, the Air Force has recently only been awarding launch contracts to a single company exclusively, United Launch Alliance, forcing all others trying to reach the final frontier to negotiate through ULA. SpaceX CEO and chief technology officer Elon Musk however has declared his intention to challenge that policy and sue the government, claiming that ULA currently has a monopoly on spaceflight.

The lawsuit was announced just after the government awarded a contract to the ULA for rocket boosters, worth around $7.2 billion. Elon Musk claims that this preferential treatment is unfair, stating that it, “essentially blocks companies like SpaceX from competing for national security launches.”

SpaceX is already a big name in the world of aerospace, having recently launched the prototype Dragon re-usable rocket as an attempt to come up with a sustainable launch vehicle. The rocket is designed to be able to land autonomously, and recent tests have proved to be a success.

The ULA, a joint venture between aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, has attempted to counteract this bold statement by claiming that they have already saved the government $4 billion dollars through their efficient rockets, but re-usable rockets from SpaceX could blow that argument right out of the water. “The ULA rockets are basically four times more expensive than ours,” stated Musk, “So this contract is costing the U.S. Taxpayers billions of dollars for no reason.

Image via Shutterstock.

However, this is not a new battleground for Musk or SpaceX. SpaceX first challenged the antitrust legality of ULA's exclusive access to government launch contracts in 2005. At that point, the Federal Trade Commission and the Pentagon announced their support for ULA - but as SpaceX becomes a bigger name, the tides just might add another company to the launch pad.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

Related Articles

Four Reasons to Reach for the Cloud after World Earth Day

By: Special Guest    4/23/2018

The World Earth Day agenda offers a chance to flip the rationale for cloud adoption and highlight environmental benefits that the technology brings pr…

Read More

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More