A former Pentagon official now advising SpaceX said that the Falcon Heavy may be compelling to the Defense Department given both its payload capacity and its low price.
“It’s really a game-changing capability,” said John Young, former undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, in a Feb. 6 interview prior to the launch. “The nearest peer competitor is the Delta 4 Heavy at roughly half the thrust and from four to as much as ten times the cost.”
“There are communities [Defense, National Security] that would like to put bigger satellites with larger apertures in space,” he said. “Falcon Heavy is extraordinarily affordable so it opens up opportunities to think about those larger satellites again.”
The Falcon Heavy can allow NASA to launch large missions to Pluto and other planets.
There are deep space missions that were being planned for an eventual Space Launch System rocket. The SpaceX Falcon Heavy provides the super-heavy lift capability that would have taken five to ten years longer for an eventual Space Launch System. The SpaceX Falcon Heavy will cost ten to twenty times less than the $1 billion Space Launch System.