His company plans to build, fly and operate commercial space stations and habitats in orbit, and has a marketing agreement with SpaceX for flight services.
Last week, SpaceX added Intelsat as the first customer for its planned Falcon Heavy rocket, which is expected to have twice the lift capacity of ULA’s Delta 4 Heavy, currently the biggest booster in the U.S. fleet.
A Falcon Heavy mission costs between $83 million and $128 million, according to SpaceX’s website, a fraction of a Delta 4 Heavy rocket launch.
For now, ULA isn’t worried.
”In order for a fair competition, a new entrant would need to support the full set of mission and technical requirements. In addition, entrants also will be faced with stringent government oversight, accounting and reporting requirements - none of which is part of a commercial business plan,” ULA spokeswoman Jessica Rye wrote in an email to Reuters.
“ULA also understands that the issue is not about competition, but how can our customers enable the reliable delivery of important space capabilities that protect our nation and promote science at the most cost-efficient method,” she added.