U.S. Air Force Denies Dragging Feet to Certify Musk’s SpaceX

SpaceX Rocket Launch Elon MuskImage Credit: SpaceX-Imagery / Pixabay

The US government is “busting their butt” to get billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX program certified and is not working to protect military industrial establishment players Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), said a top military official.

Spending $60 million on SpaceX’s certification process

The US Air Force is spending nearly $60 million and has dedicated up to 100 people to certify Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corporation so it can launch military and spy satellites.  Musk also is founder of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), the electric car company where the stock rocketed from $50 per share to over $200 before falling back to earth recently.  Musk, a founder of the electronic payment system PayPal, now owned by eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), is known for his technical innovations. He has projected that space will be one day colonized by humans and sustain life.

Musk, however, is having more earthly challenges, namely moving an entrenched military bureaucracy institutionally disposed to provide to established players in the military club.  While it may appear that the government is dragging its feet, that’s not what the US Air Force’s top uniformed acquisition official said.

“We’ve got folks busting their butt”

“We’ve got folks busting their butt to get SpaceX certified despite what everything in the media seems to say,” Lieutenant General Charles Davis said in an interview with Bloomberg.

According to the report, Davis claims the Air Force is eager to find opportunities for SpaceX so it can feast on the $67.6 billion space launch program budget. Davis refutes claims that the approval process has been slow because the establishment is protecting a monopoly for or United Launch Alliance LLC, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA).

“We’ve had to react to SpaceX and members of Congress,” Davis said, attempting to clear the air over any perceived cozy relationship with existing vendors. “Now there’s allegations of cronyism; there’s allegations of ‘you just want to give money to you don’t want to have a new entrant certified.’”  Perhaps if Musk were to team with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) or Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and cooperate with the NSA he might be more readily accepted by the military establishment.

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About the Author

Mark Melin
Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com

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