Launch Service Agreement
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.
Air Force funding three new rockets to compete with SpaceX but only intends to buy launch services from two providers
Phase 2 of the Launch Service Agreement will be an open competition. All there winners have to compete - or they would have to return their development funds back to the government. SpaceX presumably would bid as well.
The U.S. Air Force announced on Wednesday it is awarding three contracts collectively worth about $2 billion to Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems and United Launch Alliance to develop launch system prototypes.
Whoever signs up for one of two certification flights for the Omega rocket, will get a ride “at a reduced rate."
Orbital ATK on Monday revealed new details about the rocket it has been developing over the last three years in an effort to take U.S. Air Force launch contracts away from United Launch Alliance and SpaceX.