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SpaceX, ULA winning military contract, Air Force renaming EELV program – Spaceflight Now

Stock Photo of an Atlas 5-421 rocket on its pillow at Cape Canaveral. Credit: United Launch Alliance United Launch Alliance and SpaceX recently won $ 739 million contract to send six orbits for US military and Air Force has announced a new title for its flagship launch program and released "expendable" from the name in a new era of reusable rockets. The contracts announced in February by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center were shared between ULA and SpaceX rivals in the US launch industry. ULA won offers for up to three launches worth $ 441.76 million, and the Air Force awarded SpaceX contracts worth $ 297 million, even for three missions. Air Force and ULA Officers Confirmed Space Escape This week, rocket configurations have been awarded six military space missions. The Air Force fifth space-based infrared system, or SBIRS, will be launched around March 2021 on an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral and the Air Force assigned an option for ULA's Atlas 5 to launch sixth SBIRS spacecraft by 2022. The SBIRS satellites host infrared sensors for detecting plumes from missile launches, nuclear detonations, major explosions, fires and volcanic eruptions around the world, and their main purpose is to give early warning of an enemy attack on the US homeland or allied nations. SBIRS GEO 5 and 6 satellites will start against positions in geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) above the equation ator. The two Atlas 5 rockets release the early warning…

Stock Photo of an Atlas 5-421 rocket on its pillow at Cape Canaveral. Credit: United Launch Alliance

United Launch Alliance and SpaceX recently won $ 739 million contract to send six orbits for US military and Air Force has announced a new title for its flagship launch program and released “expendable” from the name in a new era of reusable rockets.

The contracts announced in February by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center were shared between ULA and SpaceX rivals in the US launch industry. ULA won offers for up to three launches worth $ 441.76 million, and the Air Force awarded SpaceX contracts worth $ 297 million, even for three missions.

Air Force and ULA Officers Confirmed Space Escape This week, rocket configurations have been awarded six military space missions.

The Air Force fifth space-based infrared system, or SBIRS, will be launched around March 2021 on an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral and the Air Force assigned an option for ULA’s Atlas 5 to launch sixth SBIRS spacecraft by 2022. The SBIRS satellites host infrared sensors for detecting plumes from missile launches, nuclear detonations, major explosions, fires and volcanic eruptions around the world, and their main purpose is to give early warning of an enemy attack on the US homeland or allied nations.

SBIRS GEO 5 and 6 satellites will start against positions in geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) above the equation ator. The two Atlas 5 rockets release the early warning loads into elliptical transmission paths, where the spacecraft will use inboard engines to increase to its final operating locations.

ULA uses Atlas 5 rockets with payload with four meter fairings and two solid rocket boosters – configuration called Atlas 5-421 – on each of SBIRS missions. The first three SBIRS satellites were launched on Atlas 5-401 rockets, flying without fixed rocket engines in the ring, 2011, 2013 and 2017. The same spacecraft SBIRS GEO 4 was launched in January 2018 on an Atlas 5-411, with a single booster mounted on the rocket’s first stage to add extra traction, allowing Atlas 5’s Centaur upper stage to subside back to Earth’s atmosphere.

The switch to the Atlas 5-411 rocket variant ensured that launch would not create unnecessary space waste, Officials did not say why the SBIRS GEO 5 and 6 satellites will be launched aboard the more powerful Atlas 5-421 rocket.

The Air Force also chose ULA’s Atlas 5 for the launch of the classified Silent Barker space load, which is planned around March 2022, according to the Ministry of Defense’s contract notice. The military has released some information on Silent Barker, in addition to revealing that the program is a joint initiative between Air Force Space Command and the National Reconnaissance Office, which owns the US Government Spy Lotto.

The Air Force has launched several small space situation awareness satellites in recent years to detect, track and inspect other spacecraft in geostationary orbit, where most of the major communication satellites exist. Gene. John Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command, told lawmakers in 2017, the common Silent Barker program “designed to meet DoD and the intelligence community needs to activate space protection”.

Quiet Barker is expected to launch directly in a path approximately 26,000 miles (42,000 miles) across the equator above the geostationary belt, according to data published in the Air Force Procurement Document. The most powerful Atlas 5 rocket variant – an Atlas 5-551 with five solid rocket amplifiers and a fifteen payload exhibition – starts the Silent Barker mission from Cape Canaveral, according to ULA.

File photo of a Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral with US Air Force’s first GPS 3 series navigation satellites on December 23, 2018. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX’s three launch contracts include a pair of Falcon 9 missions and a flight trip with the company’s triple core Falcon Heavy launcher.

Falcon Heavy Mission, codenamed AFSPC-44, is scheduled for late 2020 or early 2021 from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Air Force has not identified the payloads on the AFSPC-44 mission, but documents released with the military’s request for suggestion indicate that the launch will lift at least two payloads in a circular orbit more than 26,000 miles above the ground, at a slope of 5 degrees to the equator.

The AFSPC-44 mission is the second Falcon Heavy contract awarded to SpaceX through the Air Force’s National Security Launch Competitions, following the AFSPC-52 satellite delivery agreement announced in June 2018 for a liftoff 2020. [19659003] The Air Force also selected SpaceX Falcon 9- rockets for a pair of missions in 2021 that hired the National Reconnaissance Office spy satellites in lower lanes.

The NROL-85 mission will start from Cape Canaveral, which is likely to enter a track with a pair of naval surveillance satellites. The NROL-87 mission is set for launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and its payload remains a mystery.

ULA’s Atlas and Delta rocket families were the only launch vehicles that were certified to lift the US government’s national security burden until SpaceX Falcon 9 became eligible to compete for military contracts in 2015.

With the two NRO rocket contracts announced last the month, Falcon 9 has won seven air force-controlled launch competitions, since they are entitled to launch the military’s most critical satellites and Falcon Heavy has won two similar competitions because it was certified after it began in February 2018.

The Air Force has now chosen ULA’s Atlas 5 – The rocket for six missions since competitive procurement began. ULA has fixed orders for at least three Delta 4-Heavy Rockets, ULA’s three-wheeled lifter, which carries NRO optical image satellites and electronic surveillance spacecraft through 2022. The Air Force has preliminary agreements with ULA covering two more Delta 4 -Havig flights to NRO during the financial year 2024.

ULA plans to resign the Delta 4 rocket’s only core configuration this year and will eventually dismantle the Atlas 5 and Delta 4-Heavy rockets in the 2020s after the company’s new Vulcan launcher is in use.

The Air Force wants two launch providers eligible to compete for national security spaces to ensure that military payloads have a ride to space, even if a rocket family has a failure.

The EELV program is renamed

The Air Force has also received a new name for the program Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, a multibillion initiative that began in the 1990s to finance and monitor the e development and operation of the Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rockets now owned by ULA.

On March 1, the Space and Missile Systems Center announced that the new name of the EELV program is the National Security Space Launch program in response to the language of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

The EELV program originated in 1994, when Congress focused the Defense Ministry on developing a plan to modernize space travel capabilities in the United States. President Bill Clinton signed a directive issuing a responsibility for consumed launchers to the military, spawning the state-funded EELV program that resulted in the Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rocket fleets developed by Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

Lockheed Martin and Boeing merged the launch program in 2006, forming joint venture for the United Launch Alliance.

“Since the NSSL program begins a new chapter that makes launching services more flexible and efficient for the warfighter, it honors over twenty-five years of EELV history,” Col said. Robert Bongiovi, Head of SMC’s Launch Enterprise Directorate. “Twenty-five years later, the program has a remarkable legacy of the successful launch of 75 national security spaces, which means that more than $ 50 billion holds military equipment assets in circulation.”

Current and former EELV program leaders are the new security program logo for the security program. Credit: US Air Force Photo by Van De Ha

“When NSSL begins, it focuses steadily on the future, as this is one of the most critical times in the national security space history,” Bongiovi said in a statement. “The program is committed to 100 percent mission success and provides the most innovative, flexible and affordable services to meet the needs of national security missions and maintain US domination in space.”

The rapporteurs for reusing rocket amplifiers and engines say that training can reduce costs, resulting in cheaper access to space for military satellites, commercial payloads and science probes.

The Air Force has not launched a mission on a reused rocket, but it will change with a Falcon Heavy Mission scheduled earlier than June carrying clusters of small satellites in circulation for the military, NASA and other customers. The Air Force does not consider the Falcon Heavy launch this summer – designated Space Test Program-2 or STP-2 – as a critical national security space mission, since its payload mainly consists of experimental satellites.

The Falcon Heavy launch on the STP-2 mission is expected to include two recycled side clamps and a new center core. The side performers were slated to start a Falcon Heavy mission in April with the commercial Arabsat 6A communications satellite, and then return to Cape Canaveral for landings before ground staff prepare the hardware for the STP-2 mission.

The Air Force has not confirmed any plans to take advantage of previously volatile steps in a national security space, a class of payload built and launched with additional military surveillance. Such missions include the GPS, NRO and AFSPC launch awarded to SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy Rockets in competition with ULA.

But it is clear that times change.

To release the “consumable” name from the EELV office, SpaceX’s increased use of restored rockets and the Air Force’s funding of ULA’s Vulcan booster and Blue Origins new Glenn launcher – both of which are intended for hardware recovery and re-use – suggest military officials see a future where the recycling rocket will be [19659000] Email author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1 .

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