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Musk's SpaceX May Win First U.S. Defense Launch as Rival Exits

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of SpaceX.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX may win its first U.S. military satellite launch after the only other certified bidder, a Boeing Co.-Lockheed Martin Corp. joint venture, decided not to compete.

SpaceX submitted a proposal for the 2018 mission by Monday’s deadline, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. United Launch Alliance, the Boeing-Lockheed operator, told the Air Force in a letter that the terms of the contest kept it from making a qualifying bid.

“We look forward to working with the Air Force to...