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SSC Awards Three Contracts to Blue Origin, SpaceX and ULA

SSC
Falcon 9 launches WSF-M satellite. Credit: SSC

Ibadan, 14 June 2024. – The U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command (SSC) has awarded National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 3 Lane 1 contracts to Blue Origin, SpaceX, and ULA. The base Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) award includes Firm Fixed Price (FFP) Task Orders to each awardee to conduct an initial capabilities assessment and provide explanations of how they will approach tailored mission assurance.

Blue Origin will receive $5 million to conduct an initial capabilities assessment and understand how the launch provider will approach tiered mission assurance. On the other hand, Space X and ULA will receive $1.5 million each since they are incumbent Phase 2 providers, and SSC already understands their launch systems and approaches to mission assurance.

Furthermore, in conjunction with the IDIQ award, SSC will release two Requests for Proposals: one task order for seven U.S. Space Force Space Development Agency launches and one for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Any launch provider on the base IDIQ contract can bid for launch service task orders so far they have completed a successful orbital launch before the proposal due date.

Likewise, SSC intends to award up to three contracts for the NSSL Phase 3 Lane 2 Launch Service Procurement. In addition, Lane 2 contracts will include missions that require full mission assurance with NSSL-certified launch vehicles. The payloads included in Lane 2 require launches to more stressing orbits than Lane 1, necessitating higher-performance launch systems, and complex security and integration requirements.

Speaking on the contracts, Mr. Frank Calvelli, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration, said, “As the Space Force continues to streamline processes and increase resiliency, the NSSL Phase 3 Launch Service Procurement contracts provide the opportunity to include the most current domestic commercial innovation into our launch program as soon it becomes available.”

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