Elon Musk's SpaceX to conduct first mission with U.S. Air Force

Features FOXBusiness

FILE - In this April 30, 2015, file photo, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk unveils the company's newest products, in Hawthorne, Calif. Tesla Motors and SolarCity are going to sell solar roof tiles that are customizable and meant to look like a ... traditional roof. The energy-generating tiles are their first product as a combined company, though the contentious deal is not yet finalized. Tesla proposed buying SolarCity in June in an all-stock deal worth around $2.45 billion. Shareholders are expected to vote on the deal on Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

Tech entrepreneur and founder of aerospace company SpaceX, Elon Musk, is teaming up with the U.S. Air Force for the first time later this summer to conduct a joint mission for the military.

Continue Reading Below

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said on Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee that SpaceX would be sending the next Air Force payload up into space in August via one of the unmanned, reusable X-37B space planes.

SpaceX rival United Launch Alliance, owned by Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Boeing (BA), has conducted four similar missions with the Air Force in the past. United Launch Alliance cut the price of its Atlas 5 rocket in April by one-third in response to competition from SpaceX, which offered a significantly lower price for its Falcon 9 rocket. With an administration focused on cutting costs, price could have played a role in the Air Force’s decision to award its most recent contract to Musk’s company.

SpaceX also won a satellite contract with the government in March worth $96.5 million.

Musk is also the founder of automaker Tesla (TSLA).

What do you think?

Click the button below to comment on this article.