No Veronica. No Iron Man suit. Elon Musk is having fun over his meeting with Ash Carter, the Secretary of Defense. According to Defense Department spokesman Peter Cook, the meeting was routine for Carter, who “has been reaching out to a number of members of the technology community to get their ideas, their feedback, find out what’s going on in the world of innovation.”
Really? Ask the NRO what’s happening on the forefront of innovation. The secretive spy agency is launching a new spy satellite today. Trust me, whatever you think the DOD and NRO can do, multiply it by a hundred.
Still, why not? Not like you don’t have Tony Stark-style money. Can you imagine the level of enlistments if troops were issued an Iron Man suit? Sign me up to go flying around blasting terrorist hideouts.
The push from the Pentagon into Silicon Valley has been accelerated under Ash Carter as he has worked to establish the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUX). Ok, I understand the DOD loves acronyms but damn.
One of his chief goals as Secretary of Defense “has been to build and in some cases to rebuild the bridges between the Pentagon and America’s wonderfully innovative and strong technology community.”
Musk, for his part, is jumping into the military industrial complex with both feet. SpaceX sued the Air Force in 2014 over what the company called an unfair process for military contracts. The company was later military certified in 2015 and is now actively competing for military satellite contracts.
The company’s push to reuse a Falcon 9 rocket later this fall will make the company extremely attractive to the defense department looking to cut costs and spend the money in other areas.
It hasn’t been without controversy. Hearings on Capitol Hill have turned into a battle as Senators use the fact that ULA uses Russian-made engines for the Delta rockets. The Air Force counter is the engines make ULA competitive and without them, SpaceX would have a monopoly over satellite launches.
Hate to break it to you fellas, but the second a reusable Falcon 9 hits orbit, SpaceX will have the upper hand when it comes to cost reduction.
Regardless, let’s get back to metal suits and we won’t have to worry about spy satellites.