Launch Service Procurement
GAO said in a statement that the agency on Nov. 18 sustained the protest filed by Blue Origin on Aug. 12.
The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced the start of a National Security Launch Architecture study.
Bruno said ULA is confident that Vulcan will be ready to fly Category C payloads by 2023.
Blue Origin is further pressing its case for the Air Force to open up the Phase 2 launch procurement to more competitors.
Lt. Gen. John Thompson: “I will categorically state that there is absolutely no bias against the commercial providers in the source selection process."
With the size and growth of commercial markets uncertain, launch companies are looking to government agencies to varying degrees for stability and funding for the development of new vehicles.
Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said DoD supports Air Force plans for Phase 2 Launch Service Procurement.
SpaceX and Blue Origin both have already taken legal action against the Air Force, arguing that it has failed to create a level playing field for them and other companies to be able to challenge heavily favored ULA.
ULA, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman submit bids for national security launch procurement contract
ULA and SpaceX currently launch the bulk of U.S. national security satellites while Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin are looking to break in.
Blue Origin filed a “pre-award” protest with the GAO, arguing that the rules set by the Air Force do not allow for a fair and open competition.
NSSL costs over the entire life of the program increased 7.2% — from $57.2 billion to $61.3 billion.
Proposed changes to the National Security Space Launch program that Smith introduced in the HASC version of the NDAA made it into the House bill.
White House challenges HASC Space Corps language, strongly objects to space launch provisions in NDAA
On the National Security Space Launch program, the administration “strongly objects” to HASC language “as it would increase mission risk for the nation’s national security satellites.”
30th Space Wing commander: “In order to achieve polar orbit there is no better place to be than Vandenberg."
Air Force says having more than two launch contractors in Phase 2 puts missions at risk.
Smith so far has not been happy with the Air Force’s response to his concerns about the launch program.