ULA Takes Aim At SpaceX Track Record

The United Launch Alliance, the Boeing-Lockheed joint venture which had, until recently, a lock on contracts for national security launches for the Air Force, is taking aim at Hawthorne-based SpaceX. In a letter leaked to the Washington Post, ULA CEO Tony Bruno cast doubts on the Pentagon's effort to take competitive bids for national security launches, saying the strategy "puts hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and Warfighter mission needs unnecessarily at risk", specifically pointing to the explosion of two SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets. There is no love lost between ULA and SpaceX. SpaceX forced its way into the bidding for those national security launches via legal action, where SpaceX pointed out that ULA was using rocket motors that were being purchased from Russia. Bruno recently claimed that SpaceX could be grounded for as long as a year, whereas the company says it could be flying again as soon as November. Photo: SpaceX Dragon docking with the ISS in an earlier mission..