From recent updates, it has been found that Space X has deployed reused Falcon 9 rockets for commercial missions. But so far this has been limited to all new boosters for national security contracts. However, the Pentagon has signed off its first SpaceX mission using a reused rocket. Apart from this, a GPS III satellite launch is to take place on Thursday, June 17th, 2021, CNBC reported.
Firstly, the Pentagon’s Space Force agreed with the idea of launching military payloads with reused rockets, especially for the GPS III program. After all this, Dr. Walter Lauderdale, the deputy mission director, told the CNBC news reporting team that during the preparation for the first time event they have worked so closely with SpaceX. This was just to make SpaceX understand the refurbishment processes and we are very much confident that the rocket is very much ready for its next flight.
According to the reports, SpaceX is having a $470 million contract with the Pentagon. This is the contract in which they have to launch around five of six GPS III satellites so far, with the other awarded to rival United Launch Alliance. However, the contract was not originally allowing for reusable rockets, but the contract was modified last year. The contract got modified by the team of military, they allowed for reusing rockets. Hence, this is the move that will help in saving an estimated amount of $64 million.
Meanwhile, the Falcon 9 booster flying the payload on Thursday flew Space Force’s previous GPS III mission. However, the Space Force says that they won’t be a constraint in the future. Dr. Lauderdale says that we are certainly open to using some other boosters, not just the ones that have already flown.