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Air Force awards launch vehicle development contracts to Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman, ULA

Flyaway

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Air Force awards launch vehicle development contracts to Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman, ULA
The Air Force plans to issue a solicitation for phase 2 in 2019 and make its selections in 2020. Only two will be selected to continue to receive OTA funds. Of the three winners of this phase, the one that does not win phase 2 will not be able to get the full amount of OTA funding that the Air Force announced it would commit.

Asked why SpaceX did not make the cut, Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisitions, said the company is an “important member of our launch team” and can choose to bid again in phase 2.

“Not getting LSA funds does not prevent them from competing,” Roper told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.

“The goal of this OTA is to make sure we have a competitive industrial base,” Roper said. His comments suggest that SpaceX may have been left out because its rockets are mature and the Air Force preferred to spend OTA dollars on new vehicles to add to the mix.

“When we get to phase 2, we’re ready to buy launch services, in block buys of five years,” Roper said. “When we get to phase 2 we want to make sure there’s competition.”
 
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Flyaway

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Michel Van

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New Glenn is very attractive for USAF special it extra Large payload fairing.

but Northrop Grumman ?
They canceled the Omega solid rocket
To D&R new launcher will take years what Northrop Grumman not have.
because during that time ULA, Blue Origin and SpaceX will dominate the launch market
 

blackstar

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Yes, Northrop Grumman appears to have blundered badly there.
To me Omega looked like a government only rocket and NG clearly didn’t seem to see it having any commercial prospects.

Does NG have any commercial business? Maybe they sell some electronics systems (radars, radios?) commercially, but my impression is that the vast majority of what they do is sell to the US government and other governments. They don't have a culture to go after commercial business.
 

Byeman

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Does NG have any commercial business? Maybe they sell some electronics systems (radars, radios?) commercially, but my impression is that the vast majority of what they do is sell to the US government and other governments. They don't have a culture to go after commercial business.
 

Flyaway

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Does NG have any commercial business? Maybe they sell some electronics systems (radars, radios?) commercially, but my impression is that the vast majority of what they do is sell to the US government and other governments. They don't have a culture to go after commercial business.
The satellite stuff is from the acquired TRW Inc. Anymore these days with Boeing, LM & NG you almost have to identify the quality of things by the acquired company or by the where leadership of the acquired migrated... TRW had a very good rep in the space business.
It’s a shame Lockheed got out of commercial aviation as the Tristar was before its time.
 

Byeman

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The satellite stuff is from the acquired TRW Inc. Anymore these days with Boeing, LM & NG you almost have to identify the quality of things by the acquired company or by the where leadership of the acquired migrated... TRW had a very good rep in the space business.
No, the commercial satellite business is from OSC (about 40 spacecraft). OSC also provided many NASA satellites (about 25). If the DOD ones are included the legacy OSC produced more than 100 spacecraft and that does include the several dozen Orbcomm type stack sats.

TRW was strictly gov't spacecraft.
 
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