Billionaire businessman Elon Musk’s California-based SpaceX is on the verge of entering a new frontier — spy satellites.
The U.S. Air Force confirmed this week that the privately owned company has completed the first of three missions required to qualify for carrying National Security Space payloads, Military.com reported.
The Air Force’s statement said that civilian satellites placed into orbit in September by the rocket maker’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. counted toward its certification for military payloads.
The September launch “represents one of many certification requirements jointly agreed to between the Air Force and SpaceX,” said Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, the head of Space and Missile Systems Center at Air Force Space Command.
Military.com reported that the company has completed similar launches on Dec. 3 and Jan. 6, but that they are still awaiting certification.
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