“National security launches should be put up for competition, and they should not be awarded on a sole source uncompleted basis,” said Musk. “It just seems odd that if our vehicle is good enough for NASA and supporting a $100 billion space station — and it’s good enough for launching NASA science satellites, for launching complex commercial geostationary satellites, and really every satellite you can imagine — that there is no reasonable basis for it not being capable of launching something quite simple like a GPS satellite. This really doesn’t seem right to us.”
At a press conference in Washington D.C., Musk highlighted concerns about the Russian-built RD-180 engines ULA uses for its Atlas 5 rockets. NPO Energomash is the sole manufacturer of the RD-180, and is majority owned by Russia. This is a point of concern since Russia’s recent actions against Ukraine have sparked international backlash, including the White House’s March decision to sanction certain individuals such as Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space sector.
“How is it that we’re sending hundreds of millions of U.S. tax payers’ money at a time when Russia is in the process of invading the Ukraine?” said Musk. “And it would be hard to imagine someway that Dmitry Rogozin is not benefiting personally from the dollars that are being sent there. On the surface of it, it appears there’s a good probability of some sanctions violation, as well.”
ULA and SpaceX both testified before congress on the competitiveness of the EELV program approximately a month ago. ULA, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, has already begun working on its block buy from the Air Force by ordering $178 million in hardware from ATK. SpaceX informed the Air Force of its intention to take legal action just before the press conference. Musk desires for the Air Force to cancel the block buy from ULA, and at minimum allow enough time for the full certification to be completed.
“This is not SpaceX protesting and [saying] that these launches should be awarded to us. We’re just protesting and [saying] that these launches should be competed,” said Musk. “If we compete and lose, that’s fine.”
И надо сказать, шансы гражданина Маска тут достаточно высоки...А с запретом на запуски Протоном иностранных бортов фишка Спейс Х просто попрет не по децки.....