In recent weeks United Launch Alliance (ULA) has begun ramping up its media coverage to combat what it considers misrepresentation of facts by SpaceX. At stake is billions in future launch business.
Their website was revamped, new videos were released highlighting mission successes, and posters have been posted to their Facebook page with direct messages aimed squarely at SpaceX though without mentioning them.
These are not the actions of company feeling safe with what has been a monopoly on defence launches. Indeed, combined with Russia's tough stance on selling the RD-180 engine, ULA has been forced to begin the process of looking at a replacement for the engine and signed contracts with several companies to investigate a next-generation liquid oxygen/hydrocarbon first stage propulsion concepts.
It remains to be seen how the company will fare going forward. But with competition seemingly being forced upon them, that could be good for them and the taxpayer.