SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches first U.S. national security mission

SpaceX has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to deliver space assets to geosynchronous orbit (GEO), typically via a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). For the first time on November 1, 2022, SpaceX delivered a USSF vehicle directly to GEO, without the need for a transfer orbit and circularization. SpaceX is now able to deliver US space assets which may lack the propulsive capabilities of reaching GEO from a GTO, directly to their desired locations.

One one hand, the increasing number and nature of launch provides has drastically reduced the cost of delivering capabilities to orbit. However, the increasing reliance on third-party launchers is not without risk. Commercial companies are incentivized to optimize for profitability, often at the risk of security. Commercial space companies, such as SpaceX, are not different, and while as of right now they are adhering to US Defense requests regarding security (such as not broadcasting imagery of the spacecraft), such provisions need not always hold.