The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded Elon Musk’s SpaceX a contract worth $28.7 million for research work on the company’s Starlink satellite constellation.
“This agreement allows for experimentation in the areas of establishing connectivity, operational experimentation, and special purpose experimentation. Experimentation will include connectivity demonstrations to Air Force ground sites and aircraft for experimental purposes,” the contract award states.
“For the proposed Phase 2, the awardee proposes to perform experiments in two other key areas: early versions of a commercial space-to-space data relay service and mobile connectivity directly from space to aircraft,” the award added.
Starlink is designed to provide global communications services using an initial constellation of more than 4,000 satellites. When fully built out, the system will include nearly 12,000 spacecraft.