SpaceX Secures $70M US Space Force Contract As Elon Musk Reaffirms Civilian Focus: 'This Is The Right Order Of Things'

Elon Musk‘s SpaceX has secured its inaugural contract with the U.S. Space Force for the Starshield program.

What Happened: SpaceX clinched a one-year contract on Sept. 1, as reported by Bloomberg, which encompasses comprehensive Starshield services. 

According to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek, the contract carries a maximum value of $70 million, with around $15 million earmarked for disbursement to SpaceX by Sept. 30.

The Starshield initiative, unveiled last year, leverages the Starlink network to bolster national security efforts. Its primary objectives include earth observation, delivering global communications to government entities, and developing satellite buses for demanding payload missions. Additionally, it emphasizes enhanced data security compared to Starlink to meet governmental requirements.

Musk responded to the news, saying “Starlink needs to be a civilian network, not a participant in combat. Starshield will be owned by the U.S. government and controlled by DoD Space Force.” 

“This is the right order of things,” he added.

Why It Matters: Musk has been vocal about the civilian-oriented nature of Starlink, emphasizing its role in enabling peaceful activities such as entertainment and education. 

"Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars. It was so people can watch Netflix and chill and get online for school and do good peaceful things, not drone strikes,” Musk reportedly told his biographer Walter Isaacson.

He extended Starlink services to Ukraine during Russia’s invasion last year. However, in his recent biography, it was revealed that Musk withheld access to the Ukrainian military during an attempted attack near Crimea on the Russian naval fleet, citing concerns over involvement in a major act of war.

Check out more of Benzinga's Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read Next: Chinese EV Maker BYD Teams Up With Cox Automotive for 24/7 Service, Support In The US

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: GovernmentNewsSPACEPoliticsTop StoriesTechElon MuskmobilityRussia-Ukraine WarSpaceXStarLinkstarshield
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!