Элон Маск против Владимира Путина

Элон Маск, изобретатель и основатель Tesla и SpaceX (кстати, последний недавно праздновал триумф по случаю очередного удачного запуска своей ракеты), предпринял интересный ход, подав в федеральный суд жалобу на действия United Launch Alliance, совместного предприятия Boeing и Lockheed, которое де-факто монополизировало запуски военных спутников США.

Musk’s protest involves the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, which the ULA (a joint company run by Boeing and Lockheed Martin) uses to launch Air Force and spy agency satellies. In December, the Air Force announced a block buy with ULA of three contracts with a combined value of just more than $3 billion. The Air Force says that the combined purchase saves the government money, but Musk argues that opening the contract to competition would save even more. Musk’s rockets cost $60 million per launch. With added Air Force requirements, that price rises to $90 million. Still, he compares to a cost of $380 million for a ULA launch. 

«The ULA rockets are basically four times more expensive,» Musk said Friday. «This contract is costing us taxpayers billions of dollars for no reason.»

Saving money is only one of Musk’s arguments for choosing his upstart company to launch government sats. Here’s another: ULA Atlas V rockets that launch Air Force and spy agency satellites use Russian RD-180 engines to get into orbit. Musk argues that this fact makes a national security asset vulnerable to the whims of international diplomacy. «In light of Russia’s recent actions, it does not make sense to reward Russia with a huge contract for rocket engines,» Musk told reporters after a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing.Popular Mechanics

ULA, правда, заявляет, что обладает запасом оборудования на два года нормальных запусков, однако, как понятно, с политической точки зрения аргументы Маска безошибочны.

Интересная картина разворачивается…