The US Air Force has awarded a $102 million contract to American aerospace manufacturer SpaceX to provide point-to-point transit for military cargo and humanitarian aid worldwide using a heavy rocket.
The recently signed five-year agreement is part of the country’s rocket cargo program, designed to investigate the possibility of using large commercial rockets for Department of Defense global logistics.
According to rocket cargo program manager Greg Spanjers, the contract formalizes a government-industry partnership to help determine precisely what a rocket can achieve when used for cargo transport.
He further stated that the US military is “very interested” in the rocket’s potential to deliver cargo anywhere on Earth to support humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Although some contract details were disclosed to the public, it did not specify which SpaceX rocket or vehicle would be used to deliver military cargo. However, the company has used its Falcon 9 rocket and Falcon Heavy for military missions.
In 2020, the US military established a partnership with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to explore the possibility of transporting military systems in a rocket anywhere on the globe in merely 60 minutes.
“They have talked about moving cargo in space, and we’ve sat down with SpaceX and had that discussion,” Air Force Material Command Gen. Maryanne Miller said.