WASHINGTON — The Aerospace Corp. of El Segundo, California, will receive $811 million from the U.S. Air Force to continue providing engineering advice on the service’s space programs in the year ahead, the Pentagon announced Sept. 18.

The Aerospace Corp. is a federally funded research and development center bankrolled by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center under a longstanding support contract renewed every five years. The contract, which was renewed last year, consists of a one-year base period and four one-year options. The newly exercised option covers support services — including ongoing quality-assurance efforts for U.S. national security launches— through Sept. 30, 2015.

The not-for-profit research center is also a key part of Air Force efforts to certify that Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s Falcon 9 rocket  is ready to compete for those launches.

Mike Gruss covers military space issues, including the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, for SpaceNews. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.