The U.S. Air Force has provided SpaceX with an additional $40.7 million to support continued development of the company’s Raptor engine.
A problem with the power regulator on the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF)-4 satellite is forcing the U.S. Air Force to slip the launch of the satellite until the coming calendar year but the service says the delay will not result in a major mission impact.
Following an acknowledgment of another deployment extension for the GPS 3 ground control network, the U.S. Air Force publicly and forcefully called on contractor Raytheon to put the program back on track.
“We are very much enamoured with our system engineering processes in the Department,” said Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, the leader of Air Force Material Command.
The Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of their version of the NDAA doesn’t include the Space Corps proposal, instead focusing on bolstering space operations along different lines.
It's just the third launch from the Defense Department to be competitively bid between ULA and SpaceX.
An independent assessment of rocket engine development delivered to a House committee last week has concluded that Blue Origin remains well ahead of Aerojet Rocketdyne despite a recent testing setback.
The companies signed the contract Thursday with the European Space Agency, which procures the satellites on behalf of the EU.
Rep. Mike Rogers says Air Force "better shape up or they’ll figure out who is in charge here," while Gen. David Goldfein says "now’s not the time to build seems and segregate and separate."
If made law, the move would require setting up a Space Corps organization by Jan. 1, 2019.
Gen. John Hyten, the head of U.S. Strategic Command, said the nation must take risks and learn from what doesn't work, both in space and with nuclear deterrence.
The Air Force declined to discuss how SpaceX got the contract and if it was sole-sourced.
Long delays with programs could put the U.S. behind adversaries in the increasingly contested space environment, said Maj. Gen. David Thompson, vice commander of Air Force Space Command.
It will be the fifth mission for the Air Force's advanced spaceplane, and the first time it hasn't lifted off aboard a ULA rocket.