NSSL costs over the entire life of the program increased 7.2% — from $57.2 billion to $61.3 billion.
The Launch Service Procurement would be the first competition under the National Security Space Launch program.
The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act directed the name change effective March 1.
ULA and SpaceX will split six national security launches planned for 2021 to 2022, the Air Force announced Feb. 19.
45th Space Wing Commander: “We are now working with General Thompson’s folks and SpaceX to see whether we can launch tomorrow."
The Air Force has not determined when it might allow reused hardware instead of brand-new Falcon 9 Block 5 rockets.
The U.S. Air Force is moving into the next chapter of military space launch — competitive procurement of launch services from a wider field of commercial vendors with entirely U.S.-made rockets.
Ten years after then-U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne called for maximizing use of secondary payload adapters to launch small satellites on large rockets, the Air Force, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working together to make that happen.
GAO’s Cristina Chaplain: The Air Force will be challenged to sustain two suppliers, let alone three or four.
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.