Ibadan, 18 September 2023. – Space Systems Command’s Assured Access to Space (AATS) office have awarded a $15 million contract to ABL Space Systems to demonstrate responsive launch capability. The Small Launch and Targets Division at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico, part of AATS, awarded the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Strategic Funding Initiative (StratFI) to develop a launch mission design that incorporates planning for numerous satellites to multiple orbits from a variety of locations and conduct a proof-of-concept responsive launch.
Space Systems Command is the U.S. Space Force’s field command responsible for acquiring and delivering resilient warfighting capabilities to protect the nation’s strategic advantage in and from space. SSC manages a $15 billion space acquisition budget for the Department of Defense and works in partnership with joint forces, industry, Government agencies, academic, and allied organizations to accelerate innovation and outpace emerging threats. Furthermore, the contract comes shortly after the SSC created the GPS Certification Branch, a specialized team within the SSC responsible for certifying the hardware, software, and firmware used in GPS systems.
Lt. Col. Justin Beltz, chief of the Small Launch and Targets Division, stated, “The Space Force has a commitment to growing Tactically Responsive Space capabilities, including launch, space, and ground segments, to meet the needs of combatant commanders,” The Lt. Col. further stated, “We are happy to work with ABL to explore robust planning options, complementing the Space Force’s other Tactically Responsive Space efforts. This mission area is evolving quickly, and it’s important we continue to push the bounds of speed, responsiveness, and flexibility.”