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Pentagon to review certification of Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch vehicles



SpaceX founder Elon Musk speaks at a press conference following the launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, February 6, 201

8. REUTERS / Joe Skipper

(Reuters) – The Pentagon will evaluate the certification for Elon Musk's SpaceX launch vehicles to determine if US aviation has met certain guidelines, according to a reminder here on Monday.

"Our goal is to determine if the US Air Force has joined the Launch Services Certification Guide for new entrants when it certifies the launch system design for launch vehicles Evolx Expendable Launch Vehicle-class SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, "US Department Of Deputy Director-General of Defense Michael Roark said in the memorandum.

The review will begin this month, the memo said.

In December, a SpaceX rocket carrying a US military navigation satellite departed from Florida, Cape Canaveral, and marked the first space security national space mission for the United States.

The success of the launch was a significant victory for billionaire Musk, who spent years trying to break into the lucrative military space launch market dominated by Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co.

Musk's private company announced last month it would reduce the workforce by about 10 percent of the over 6,000 employees of the company, citing "extraordinarily difficult challenges".

Report of Sanjana Shivdas to Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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