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Elon Musk's SpaceX has landed a $96.5 million contract to launch a military satellite

Harriet Taylor

Elon Musk 's SpaceX has a new mission: Launch a military satellite into orbit.

The U.S. Air Force announced Tuesday that it had awarded the company — a relative newcomer to military space launches — a $96.5 million dollar contract to support the launch of a next generation global positioning system satellite called GPS III.

SpaceX beat out another contractor for the work, according to a Department of Defense press release, and will provide "launch vehicle production, mission integration, launch operations, spaceflight worthiness and mission unique activities for a GPS III mission."

The work, which is expected to be completed by April 2019, will take place at SpaceX's Hawthorne, California headquarters, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and in McGregor, Texas.

The press release does not give details on which GPS III satellite SpaceX will launch and gives no launch date.

Gwynne Shotwell, President & COO at SpaceX said in a statement: "SpaceX is proud to have been selected to support this important National Security Space Mission. We appreciate the confidence that the U.S. Air Force has placed in our company and we look forward to working together towards the successful launch of another GPS-III mission."




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