Recovering From a Space Mistake

A Federal Judge has made a major decision that is not getting a lot of press — and, no it is not the latest one that threw a wrench into Obamacare, or the one that threw out the a District of Columbia gun carry rules — those were widely reported, but the SpaceX decision is “inside the (technology) beltway” story.

This nation has been dependent upon Russia for heavy lifting — like putting our Astronauts into the Space Station — but actually a combination of corporations, Boeing and Lockheed Martin (called United Launch Alliance) uses Russian rockets to put US spy Satellites into space. You may have heard that Russia no longer loves us. They have cut off the supply of massive rockets.

For some time, SpaceX has been challenging the contract that the Alliance has been awarded by the Air Force, saying that it was not a proper competitive bid — and at least in step one, SpaceX has won the right to see the Alliance contract. For years SpaceX has said they can launch much cheaper, and, importantly, SpaceX does not use Russian lift rockets.

The Judge’s ruling is just a start. It could be a long legal fight but with the Russian reluctance to sell us rockets, the issue may get settled quickly depending upon how many Russian lift rockets the Alliance has in storage.

It is a $70 billion potential contract, although the initial contract the Alliance is working under is a mere $11 billion.

Space X is getting ready to demonstrate the ability to launch Astronauts to the Space Station.

It can’t come too soon, considering the Russians are not just holding us up to too much money for launches, but threatening to stop launching US Astronauts, altogether.

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