Air force may select two companies in 2020 to bid for satellite launch services. The AFSMSC released a statement on Friday requesting proposals to award contracts in 2020 to two launch service providers. The proposals are to be made before August 1.
Phase 2 of the National Security Space LSP will be the next phase of the mission which was previously dubbed as the EELV. The new name for the program is National Security Space Launch or NSSL. This whole program is considered to be overseen by the Air Force with the support of the National Reconnaissance Office. This new program is speculated to consider both types of launch vehicles.
Two domestic vendors shall be chosen from a sector which is currently populated by SpaceX and United Launch Alliance. New entries such as Northrop Frum man and Blue Origin may also bid their chance.
Northrop Grumman, United Launch and Blue Origin were selected for contracts worth $2.3 billion for their Launch Services. These funds were a big help in developing their own vehicles and infrastructure to facilitate for the LSP Phase 2. SpaceX may not have won any contracts, but the Air Force have declared Phase 2 as full and competitive giving permission to any company regardless of they have achieved an LSA contract or not.
In a statement issued by Heather Wilson, Air Force Secretary he mentioned that they were following the congress’s directive of 2014, to replace the Russian RD-180 rocket. The industries are ready to take the challenge.
With the congress agenda of replacing RD-180 engine, and retirement of Delta 4 rocket, The Airforce has formed a new strategy to secure NSSP requirements for any future missions.
The Airforce even stated that three development awards to ULA, Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin were provided to develop their own launch systems. Vulcan Centaur, OmegA and New Glenn will be able to complete the more serious national security requirements.