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The competition heats up: Six senators on Wednesday demanded the Air Force open up competition to more companies for launching its military satellites.
U.S. senators on Wednesday urged the Air Force to allow more competition in the multibillion-dollar market for launching government satellites, citing rising costs and concerns about Russian-made engines that power some of the U.S. rockets.
Lawmakers said the Air Force’s budget plan for fiscal 2015 reduced opportunities for privately held Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and others to gain a foothold in a program now dominated by the two biggest U.S. weapons makers, Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co.
This demand also bodes badly in an indirect way for SLS. It indicates that these senators are beginning to notice the cost benefit of competition and of using the private market. Such a realization is going to eventually leak into their peanut brains about SLS, and that will not do that program any good, especially if the new commercial private companies like SpaceX continue to show success.