Love the Record

Air Force Space Command is contemplating what to do about the space launch industrial base, its commander, Gen. William Shelton, said Friday. Speaking to AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles, Shelton said, “We love the operational record” racked up by United Launch Alliance, which has amassed about 57 consecutive successful launches, but “we’re trying to get the cost down.” AFSPC is hopeful that “new entrants” like Space-X will offer competition and lower launch prices, but it’s not clear whether there would be “adequate business for multiple launch providers” even considering the international market. AFSPC is trying to get the new entrants “certified” for military payloads as soon as possible, Shelton said. He has previously suggested competition could lower launch costs by as much as 50 percent.