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Elon Musk Wants SpaceX to Replace Russia as NASA's Space Station Transport

Elon Musk in Washington on April 25
Elon Musk in Washington on April 25Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

SpaceX, the rocket and space exploration company founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk, filed a protest against the U.S. Air Force this week, saying that the military has unfairly prevented it from competing for space satellite launches.

The following day, Russia’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, who is targeted by U.S. sanctions over Ukraine, suggested that America may need to find a large trampoline to continue NASA’s access to the International Space Station. Since the space shuttle’s retirement, the U.S. pays Russia about $71 million per seat to fly U.S. astronauts to the station. The current ISS mission, Expedition 39 (pdf), has two Americans among the six-person crew.