WASHINGTON — Following a series of contract protests, the Space Development Agency again awarded SpaceX a $149 million contract and L3Harris a $193.5 million contract to each build four satellites to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles

The contracts to both companies were originally awarded Oct. 5 but work had to be stopped after competitors Airbus and Raytheon filed protests with the Government Accountability Office challenging the awards. To resolve the protests, the Space Development Agency agreed to re-evaluate contractor bids. GAO dismissed Airbus’ protest Nov. 30. Raytheon filed two additional protests and the last one was dismissed on Dec. 22.

Space Development Agency spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea said in a statement Jan. 7 that work on the eight satellites — known as Tracking Layer Tranche 0 — recommenced Dec. 28 when a temporary stop-work order was lifted. “SDA implemented a corrective action plan for the Tracking Layer Tranche 0 competition after initial awards received protests,” she said. “The reevaluation confirmed the original selection decision announced in October and concluded that the SpaceX and L3Harris Technologies’ proposals offered the best value to the government.”

Elzea said the agency is “confident that the reevaluation resulted in a fair outcome for all involved parties.”

The Space Development Agency is planning to launch Tranche 0 satellites in late 2022.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...