SpaceX wins two Defense launch contracts
December 5 2012 06:16:04 PM |
As mentioned here earlier, the USAF selected Lockheed-Martin, Orbital Sciences and SpaceX to participate in the Orbital/Suborbital-3 (OSP-3) part of the USAF's new Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP) . In this IDIQ (indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity) contract, there will be up to 12 launches that the companies can bid to launch: USAF Announces Contenders For OSP-3 Launches - Aviation Week
Lockheed is pushing its Athena rocket, Orbital is proposing its new Antares and existing Minotaur family, and SpaceX will offer its Falcon 9.
SpaceX has gotten the first actual launch contracts: SpaceX Bests Orbital Sciences In First OSP-3 Duels - Aviation Week -
SpaceX will use its Falcon 9 v1.1 to boost NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) in November 2014 and the Falcon 9 Heavy for launch of a Space Test Program satellite in September 2015, says Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, program executive officer for Air Force space programs.
As mentioned yesterday, USAF will allow partial competition for launches of the heavy payloads previously reserved for ULA's rockets (Atlas 5 and Delta IV variants): Pentagon opens rocket launches to competition - Fox Business. Many of these payloads would presumably require the Falcon Heavy.
So with these two developments, SpaceX will have an opportunity to broaden its already sizable manifest beyond NASA and commercial launches to Defense payloads.