Elon Musk's SpaceX has received a $ 149 million contract from the Pentagon to build satellites to track missiles, the United States Space Agency (SDA) said Monday.
SpaceX, known for its reusable rockets and capsules for astronauts, is ramping up production of satellites for Starlink, a growing constellation of hundreds of data-streaming satellites that CEO Elon Musk hopes will generate enough revenue to help fund the colonists' first flight. to Mars.
Under a contract with SDA, SpaceX will use its Starlink assembly plant in Redmond, Washington to build four satellites equipped with a subcontractor's wide-angle infrared missile tracking sensor, an SDA spokesman said.
L3 technology company Harris Technologies Inc., formerly Harris Corporation, received $ 193 million to build four more satellites. Both companies are expected to launch satellites by fall 2022.
The contracts are part of the SDA's first phase of procurement of satellites for tracking and tracing missiles such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which can travel long distances and are difficult to track and intercept.
As a reminder, SpaceX received from $ 28 million in 2019 to use the Starlink satellite network to test encrypted Internet services with a number of military aircraft.