“The way to drive down cost, typically, is through competition,” Clapper said.
Leone reports the Pentagon was projected to spend $16 billion on launch services from 2014 to 2018 in a 2013 Government Accountability Office report.
SpaceX has petitioned the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to void a majority of the U.S. Air Force‘s bulk order for ULA rocket components to allow for business competition, Leone reports.
According to the report, the Air Force is also reviewing a potential certification for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to carry military and intelligence payloads.
Clapper also recognized the commercial imaging industry’s contributions to the intelligence community during his address.
“The capabilities the commercial space has now and the even better capabilities on the near horizon are a critical part of the [intelligence community’s] strategic plans,” Clapper said.