Named “Birds of a Feather,” the mission is scheduled to lift off Jan. 31 from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.
Pete Muend said the NRO wants to understand the capabilities of a variety of commercial vendors.
Scolese said China is a top concern: “They are putting spacecraft up very quickly and we have to stay ahead."
The National Reconnaissance Office awarded a commercial imagery subscription contract to Planet Labs Federal, a subsidiary of Earth observation company Planet.
HySpecIQ’s contract follows three commercial imagery study awards announced by the NRO in June to BlackSky Global, Maxar Technologies and Planet.
The production of the third Delta 4 Heavy rocket under this contract is expected to be completed by January 2024.
The NRO is ready to start buying products from new vendors and move beyond the single-supplier arrangement with Maxar Technologies.
Sen. Jack Reed: “An issue that will be paramount for both of you is Space Command’s relationship with the NRO."
"We expect our investment in commercial in total to increase going forward," said Troy Meink, who leads NRO’s Geospatial Intelligence Directorate. "As you can imagine with the increase in requirements, there's going to be an increase in the cost.
The National Reconnaissance Office awarded commercial imagery study contracts to BlackSky Global, Maxar Technologies and Planet, Troy Meink, who leads NRO’s Geospatial Intelligence Directorate, announced June 3.
Under the LVPS contract, ULA in October 2018 was awarded three NRO missions
NROL-68 is the second of three missions awarded to ULA under the Launch Vehicle Production Services contract.
Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) told Scolese that he supports his nomination.