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Thursday, 22 May 2014 00:00

By Dan Leone | May. 22, 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — National Intelligence Director James Clapper hailed upstart launch services provider Space Exploration Technologies Corp. during a keynote address here at the 30th Space Symposium, endorsing competition in the U.S. government launch industry.

“I do want to give a shout out to SpaceX,” Clapper said May 22, offering his support for the competition the upstart company is offering to entrenched government launch services provider United Launch Alliance of Denver — which only hours before Clapper spoke launched a classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite out of Florida aboard an Atlas 5 rocket.

“The way to drive down cost, typically, is through competition,” Clapper said, noting that “launch costs are a huge part of my budget.”


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