CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., April 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force on Wednesday awarded billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX an $83 million contract to launch a GPS satellite, breaking the monopoly that Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co have had on military space launches for more than a decade.
The Global Positioning System satellite will be launched in May 2018, Air Force officials said. The fixed-price contract is the military’s first competitively sourced launch services in contract in more than a decade. It breaks the monopoly on launching military space and national security payloads held by United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA did not bid for the GPS launch contract. (Reporting by Irene Klotz in Cape Canaveral, Fla.; Editing by Matthew Lewis)