SpaceX CEO Elon Musk last month sued the U.S. Air Force after it awarded a sole-source contract to a company called United Launch Alliance (ULA) for 36 rocket launches.
Musk thought his company, SpaceX, was more competitive and should have won.
In a series of tweets Thursday, Musk said the Air Force official in charge of the launch contract, Roger Correll, had taken a job with one of ULA’s suppliers.
Air Force official awards $10B+ contract uncompeted & then takes lucrative job w funds recipient
V likely AF official Correll was told by ULA/Rocketdyne that a rich VP job was his if he gave them a sole source contract.
Reason I believe this is likely is that Correll first tried to work at SpaceX, but we turned him down. Our competitor, it seems, did not.
Either way, this case certainly deserves close examination by the DoD Inspector General . . .
SpaceX may still win some of the Air Force launches.
Air Force Space Command leader General William Shelton told Reuters Tuesday the military is dedicating $60 million and 100 people to certify SpaceX as a new launch competitor but the process is a slow one.
He said Musk’s company could still compete for seven or eight launches before it’s certified.
Meanwhile, ULA’s CEO Michael Gass has said his company beats SpaceX on cost and quality and deserved the Air Force contract.
Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.