Air Force aims for reliable launch services in spite of dramatic changes in commercial, military space
In the future, the U.S. Air Force will launch satellites of all different sizes for customers with varying degrees of risk tolerance.
GAO: “Implementing a strategy to support multiple launch providers may prove challenging."
For the space-based infrared SBIRS satellites 5 and 6, the Air Force says the per-unit cost went down 12 percent — from $1.9 billion to $1.6 billion.
As the National Security Space community implements resiliency and disaggregation, and as we take advantage of the rapid acceleration of technology, it appears we are moving toward smaller, shorter life, and more numerous satellite programs.
A bipartisan group of 20 House members has asked the Defense Department not to alter the U.S. Air Force’s plans to fund development of new launch systems.
The Defense Department’s Inspector General announced June 15 it would begin an investigation next month into whether the Air Force’s primary launch program is meeting widely-adopted quality and safety standards.
A $517 billion defense spending bill the U.S. House Appropriations Committee will mark up May 17 cuts nearly $500 million from the Air Force's main launch budget.
SpaceX has won an $82.7 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to launch a next-generation GPS satellite aboard its Falcon 9 rocket in May 2018, the first of nine competitive launch awards the Defense Department plans to make in the next three years.
Daniel Gouré’s op-ed “Why Does The Air Force Want To Destroy The Struggling U.S. Space Launch Business?” is inaccurate and misleading.
GPS missions will comprise the bulk of the launches, but a missile warning satellite and an unidentified payload will also be in the mix.
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.
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.
Two competitive national security launches, the first to be awarded under the U.S. Air Force’s main satellite launching program in 15 years, will be among the Defense Department’s most closely watched space-related procurements this year.
Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Larry D. Welch, a former chief of staff, will lead an independent review of the service’s launch vehicle certification process, which has come under criticism for the time it is taking to certify SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to carry military payloads.
For the third time in nine months, a defendant in a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Air Force’s $11 billion bulk purchase of rockets from United Launch Alliance are asking a federal judge to dismiss the case.