The U.S. Air Force called off a high-profile competition to launch a spy satellite but now intends to put as many as 10 individual launch contracts up for bid between now and the end of 2017.
The head of Boeing said Jan. 28 that SpaceX’s growing presence in the space industry will force his company to be more competitive in some segments of the market, but that Boeing would retain its edge in more advanced segments.
Satellite fleet operator SES said it is likely to trade its midyear launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for a slot later in the year rather than be the first to fly a Falcon 9 with Merlin 1D engines adjusted for improved thrust.
Spire expects its constellation of 100-plus cubesat-class satellites to do for weather forecasts what online mapping did for getting directions.
More than one-third of the critical components embedded in European satellites, when measured by cost, are non-European, most of them provided by U.S. companies.
A highly anticipated U.S. Air Force launch contract - once thought to be SpaceX’s first chance to break into the national security launch market – has instead been added to the service’s existing $11 billion deal with United Launch Alliance.
U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James was wise to order up an independent review of the service’s ponderous process for certifying new entrants in the national security launch market.
S3 and its partners are preparing to roll out the first phase of their three-step business plan with microgravity aircraft flights scheduled to begin during the second half of this year, followed by small-satellite launches in 2018 and suborbital passenger flights sometime after 2020.