Why Elon Musk's SpaceX Plans to Sue the Air Force

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April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk's SpaceX plans to file a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to protest a military rocket-launch monopoly held by a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Brian Friel and Peter Cook have more on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

And hoping that it showcases a little bit more of the evidence that it has to show these rockets can be reused safely.

Peter cook, stay with us for just a second.

I want to bring in our colleague from bloomberg industries.

I know you're there and you've been watching the developments having to do with spacex.

Let's tackle one thing first.

The russian rockets that are used in the joint venture, the u.a.l., that currently produces those satellite launches for the u.s. government.

Isn't that a separate agreement and that's not necessarily at risk when it comes to the relations now between president obama and vladimir putin?

Well, it really creates more of a political problem for united launch alliance, lockheed-boeing joint venture, that does most military launchesritis now.

Given the tensions with -- between the u.s. and russia and congress' increased scrutiny on anything that the u.s. government is doing with russia and as congress starts taking up defense policy issues in the next couple of weeks, they could urge the defense department to limit future use of russian-made engines.

I know you're familiar obviously with the u.s. government contracting system.

What's the situation with boeing and lock heed matteren?

Are they going to be -- lock heed martin?

Are they going to be fighting back or will they just take this?

This will be a fight and more so in congress than in the courts.

The courts tend to be pretty defrl to agencies -- defer rention to agencies whereas congress has the power through legislation to instruct agencies to do something and so lockheed and boeing and spacex will be battling in the halls of congress through their lobbying efforts to get congress to weigh in.

How real statistic is it to have a reusable rocket that would bring the cost of satellite launches down?

Well, spacex is one of two companies that is currently providing international space station cargo resupply.

And spacex is using a reusable program now.

And they argue that the same technology could be used for these military space launches.

Does spacex have to be certified in order to participate in the military launches?

That's sort of the crux of the legal controversy here.

Spacex argues that its qualified to do the work now -- it's qualified to do the work now and it should be certified.

The air force says it still has some more hoops to jump.

If i could weigh in on that.

When lockheed martin and boeing, i mean, these are two giants.

The fact that they have a joint venture here, this is a business where they've been launching military satellites into space for the federal government for decades.

And they look at their track record and see elon musk and this upstart from california threatening to take some of that business and i can tell you, you get a feeling it's almost personal here.

They have been doing this very successfully and they put their track record out there against spacex any time you want.

The question at the end of the day is, is elon musk offering a value proposition to the federal government that it cannot ignore and at some point it's going to come down to the numbers.

Can he deliver on the same number of satellite launches

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