Industry Execs Talk Launch Companies’ Interest in Government Market at Conference

Executives from United Launch Alliance, SpaceX, Blue Origin and other launch services firms discussed their companies’ interest in the government market during a panel discussion at the World Satellite Business Week conference in Paris Tuesday, SpaceNews reported.

ULA, SpaceX, Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman are competing for the second phase of the U.S. Air Force’s National Security Space Launch program. The service is expected to pick two firms in 2020 to perform up to 34 launch missions between 2022 and 2026.

John Elbon, chief operating officer of ULA, said losing the competition for the Air Force contract would have a “significant impact” on the company. “Government business is a significant part of ULA’s business.”

Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX and 2019 Wash100 Award recipient, said the company is focused on securing contracts for national security launch services. “Obviously, it’s a growing part of our business right now, and we certainly hope to continue serving it.”

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