The Washington Post features the Brent Scowcroft Center of International Security’s event with President and COO of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell:

SpaceX is pushing to receive national security launch certification by the end of the year.

The commercial space contractor recently sued the Air Force for the right to compete on launch contracts. However, it is also working with the Air Force to achieve the necessary certification for military launches, said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer.

She was speaking at the Atlantic Council’s “Captains of Industry” event last week.

“There’s mountains of paperwork,” Shotwell said. “This is new territory for the Air Force, too, so we’re paving the way for the next set of new entrants.”

Shotwell also talked about the need to rebuild American dominance in the space sector, pointing out that the United States relies heavily on Russian rocket engines for national security launches.

The issue has been in the spotlight as Russia and the United States spar over sanctions stemming from the turmoil in the Ukraine. A top Kremlin official has threatened to ban the export to the United States of powerful RD-180 engines unless Russia is guaranteed that they won’t be used by the U.S. military.

“We build our own engines and tanks and write our own software,” Shotwell said with reference to SpaceX’s homegrown Merlin engine. “We own our technology.”

Read the full article here.