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SpaceX wins first EELV-class launch contracts from Air Force
Posted: Thu, Dec 6, 2012, 6:48 AM ET (1148 GMT)
Falcon 9 launch of 1st Dragon spacecraft (NASA/KSC) SpaceX won contracts this week from the US Air Force for the launch of two satellites, breaking the lock on such deals held by United Launch Alliance. Under the contracts, SpaceX will launch the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite on a Falcon 9 in late 2014 and the Space Test Program 2 (STP-2) payload on a Falcon Heavy rocket in mid-2015, both from Cape Canaveral. The awards are part of an effort by the military to stimulate competition in the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program by supporting new entrants like SpaceX with awards for lower-priority missions like DSCOVR and STP-2. All EELV launches to date have been performed by the Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rockets provided by ULA.
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