Starting in 2022, SpaceX will launch a number of satellites for the Pentagon's space agency, known as the Space Development Agency.
SpaceX was just awarded the contract for the launches, worth an estimated $150.4 million.
The satellites that will be launched into space have a variety of different use cases and sizes. Notably, 20 of the satellites will be data-relay satellites that are used for military and defense communication. The other 8 will be used as early missile-warning detection satellites. As for where the launches will take place, they are slated to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The announcement of SpaceX winning the bid comes on the heels of the Space Development Agency requesting the bids just months ago, on October 6 of 2020.
According to the bid request documentation, and like most government contract selections, the provider was selected based on the best value for the money. This doesn't always mean that the contract goes to the cheapest bidder, but rather that criteria like schedule, mission success rate, and other performance factors are taken into account.
SpaceX currently has roughly 20 launches scheduled for 2021, and this new contract signals that the company will be growing significantly in the coming years.