The Uncancellable Billionaire: Musk's SpaceX Signs Deal To Launch EU Satellites

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Oct 24, 2023 - 02:40 AM

Earlier this year, Elon Musk warned the Biden administration would "weaponize" federal agencies against him for his 'free speech' platform X. More recently, Democrats tried to cancel the billionaire after his biographer Walter Isaacson claimed Musk turned off Starlink coverage for Ukraine, which turned out to be false. Then, in recent weeks, the European Union told Musk that X could be at risk of being banned across the continent over claims of 'disinformation' amid the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Despite the frequent efforts by Western political elites to 'cancel' the billionaire, their efforts have largely been unsuccessful. Musk is becoming the 'uncancellable billionaire' as the latest news from the Wall Street Journal reveals - even though the European Union has a strong distaste for the billionaire - they must now use SpaceX rockets to launch spy satellites into orbit because delays in Europe's space rocket program and cutting off the use of Russian rockets due to the Ukraine war. 

SpaceX and the European Space Agency agreed to conduct at least two launches next year, catapulting two Galileo satellites into orbit. The European Commission and EU member states have yet to approve the agreement, but officials told WSJ they anticipate approval by the end of the year. 

ESA Director of Navigation Javier Benedicto said the agreement calls for the Galileo satellites to be launched on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from the US. A spokesman for the European Commission said it is "taking all necessary steps to ensure that the Galileo constellation continues to provide outstanding services in the coming months and years."

WSJ said EU officials have hesitated to use Musk's rocket company for the Galileo satellites, saying the EU should rely on the US. However, it is tough luck because Europe's Ariane rocket program has been hit with delays, and there's no chance the Russians will be launching those satellites. 

If EU officials sign the agreement, this would be the first SpaceX Galileo contract ever and the first time Galileo satellites would be launched outside EU territory in 15 years.  

The billionaire noted on X in September that SpaceX delivered 80% of all Earth payload mass to orbit so far this year. He said China accounted for the other 10%. He added next year will be 90%, and when Starship becomes operational, that number will rise to >99%. 

Musk is becoming an uncancellable billionaire. And this is making Democrats and their counterparts in the EU have meltdowns.