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SpaceX passes milestone in Air Force certification
Posted: Sat, Jul 12, 2014, 11:02 AM ET (1502 GMT)
Falcon 9 v1.1 before ORBCOMM OG2 1st launch (SpaceX) SpaceX announced Friday that it had achieved a major, but not final, milestone in its effort to be certified by the US Air Force to perform military launches. SpaceX said that the Air Force has certified the first three launches of the company's Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, which took place in September and December of last year and January of this year, as successful. The Air Force had previously declared the first Falcon 9 v1.1 launch to be a success as it evaluated data from the other two. Performing three successful Falcon 9 launches is a key requirement for SpaceX to be certified by the Air Force to perform military launches, although the overall certification process is not expected to be completed before late this year or early next year. The certification process is ongoing even as SpaceX sues the Air Force, alleging a "block buy" contract with United Launch Alliance is locking the company out of opportunities to compete for military satellite launches.
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