SpaceX might soon have a new customer in the US military. Elon Musk's company is in talks with the US military to allow the latter access to the SpaceX's Starship fleet and even the Starlink satellite technology.
SpaceX's main customer is NASA and it launches NASA's cargo to the ISS, helping out the US space agency after it shut down its Space Shuttle program. The US army seems like the next logical step.
President and Chief Operating Officer of the private aerospace company Gwynne Shotwell spoke to the audience at a US Army conference where she gave a brief about the company and the work it has done and plans to do.
Shotwell said the main objective of the company is to "build transportation systems that are reliable and low cost."
In an interview with Space News, Shotwell said that they are looking at the US military as a potential customer for Starlink and Starship.
Starlink " a constellation of satellites designed to provide high-speed internet connection " is a no-brainer for the army. An army official said that they are considering the usage of Starlink to provide support to the service's demands for higher capacity and lower latency communications.
Starlink satellites will form a mesh of connections all over the Earth to provide internet connectivity. Recently, SpaceX has sought permission to quadruple the number of satellites it will be launching. It had launched the first 60 satellites in May and said that the constellation will be operational for Canada and the northern US next year.
The Starship spacecraft, on the other hand, is meant to transport people and cargo to the ISS and eventually to other planets as well. The army does not launch anything into space but they could use it, according to Space News, for point to point transportation of people or cargo, in a matter of minutes.
SpaceX wants its spacecraft to be the first launch vehicle to carry human beings to Mars and bring them back safely. However, there has been delays. But a recent report stated that SpaceX is on schedule to carry astronauts to space by the beginning of next year.