Author Topic: SpaceX federal grant  (Read 3307 times)

Offline whitelancer64

SpaceX federal grant
« on: 01/02/2019 09:09 pm »
Per this website:

https://subsidytracker.goodjobsfirst.org/parent/space-exploration-technologies-spacex

SpaceX got a federal grant of $2,613,824 sometime during 2018, but I can't find any more information about it. Does anyone know more about this?
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Offline Tony Whitehead

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Re: SpaceX federal grant
« Reply #1 on: 01/02/2019 09:15 pm »
“Project Description:
THE GOAL OF THIS AGREEMENT IS FOR THE PERFORMER TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY AND CAPABILITY ENHANCEMENTS NECESSARY FOR A FUTURE PROTOTYPE BY FUNDING IN T”

Clear as mud?  Sometimes I wonder if bureaucrats are evenly capable of speaking the English language any longer...


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Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX federal grant
« Reply #2 on: 01/02/2019 09:28 pm »
“Project Description:
THE GOAL OF THIS AGREEMENT IS FOR THE PERFORMER TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY AND CAPABILITY ENHANCEMENTS NECESSARY FOR A FUTURE PROTOTYPE BY FUNDING IN T”

Clear as mud?  Sometimes I wonder if bureaucrats are evenly capable of speaking the English language any longer...


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"FEASIBILITY AND CAPABILITY ENHANCEMENTS NECESSARY FOR A FUTURE PROTOTYPE"

ISTM thet can apply to a stretched FH fairing, StarLink, and Super Heavy/Starship. DoD has expressed or would have interest in all of the above..
« Last Edit: 01/02/2019 09:32 pm by docmordrid »
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Offline ncb1397

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Re: SpaceX federal grant
« Reply #3 on: 01/02/2019 09:31 pm »
Here is the page from the data source:
https://www.usaspending.gov/#/award/66384290

Not much new information, and the description is truncated still, but it does list DARPA.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX federal grant
« Reply #4 on: 01/02/2019 09:34 pm »
DARPA could indicate StarLink, as part of the Blackjack program. Blackjack would use LEO constellation satellite buses for military satellites. A wolf among the sheep.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2019 09:42 pm by docmordrid »
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Offline Joffan

Re: SpaceX federal grant
« Reply #5 on: 01/02/2019 10:17 pm »
The 12.91 FDA code is explicitly for the Advanced Research Projects Agency, Department of Defense (DARPA).

I'm not saying that the long-winded preamble was a deliberate device to cut off the explicit intent of the grant, but...

Anyway there weren't any giant clues in the DARPA press releases leading up to the start of contract date, 2018-05-14. I wouldn't expect the DARPA Launch challenge to have associated grants. The Digital Phased-Arrays project looks possible with Starlink in mind.
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Offline IntoTheVoid

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Re: SpaceX federal grant
« Reply #6 on: 01/03/2019 02:51 am »
Note that, in spite of the initial reference, this does not appear to be a 'grant', at least in a layman's sense. (I am not a gov't accountant.)

Here is the page from the data source:
https://www.usaspending.gov/#/award/66384290

From the above reference, if you go to the 'custom award data' page.  There are 5 award types listed: Contracts; Grants; Direct Payments; Loans; & Other Financial Assistance. The SpaceX entry is of the 'Other Financial Assistance' type. If you then download that record, the 'assistance_type_description' field contains 'OTHER REIMBURSABLE, CONTINGENT, INTANGIBLE, OR INDIRECT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE'.

Layman's guess: This sound like the NASA 'Other Transaction Authority' agreements where the two parties work on something together and this is the accounting for the DARPA expenditures of a mutual project.
I didn't find any additional info on what the actual project is though. Does DARPA work through/with AFRL? Given the Feb 2018 launch of Tin Tin A&B and the Aug 2018 FCC requests for the tests with AFRL, this award in May is tucked neatly between the two.

 

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