WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force selected Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman as well as also also United Launch Alliance on Wednesday to each develop a domestic launch system prototype. The long-awaited Pentagon deal known as the Launch Services Agreement enables the U.S. to transition away through foreign propulsion systems such as the Russian-built RD-180 rocket engine.
Per the award, Blue Origin will receive $500 million for the development of the brand new Glenn rocket, Northrop Grumman’s Orbital ATK is usually slated for $792 million for its OmegA Rocket, as well as also also United Launch Alliance will bring in $967 million for development of the Vulcan Centaur rocket.
Absent through the Air Force announcement was SpaceX, despite that will winning an initial development award in 2016 alongside Blue Origin, ULA as well as also also Northrop Grumman.
“SpaceX is usually a valuable part of our launch team,” began Dr. Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, when asked about an award for SpaceX. “They have seven future launches to be done, as well as also also they are putting up critical payloads for us including GPS.”
“So, they have multiple launches coming up within the future, as well as also also the Air Force is usually interested as well as also also has the door open to work with them on certification if they want to pursue that will with us. They can certainly compete in Phase 2,” he added.
Below is usually a breakdown of launch capabilities as well as also also award details.