Space Force Assigns SpaceX & ULA New Security Missions

The US Space Force launch procurement office has announced that an additional 12 missions have been assigned to SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (ULA) under the National Security Space Launch Phase 2 contract.

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Zac Aubert

Zac Aubert

Published: 17th Jun 2023 12:47 GMT
Written by: Zac Aubert

The US Space Force launch procurement office has announced that an additional 12 missions have been assigned to SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (ULA) under the National Security Space Launch Phase 2 contract.

These missions are projected to begin launching in 2025, and further solidify the role of these companies in supporting national security space activities.

SpaceX

SpaceX has been assigned five missions for the Space Development Agency (SDA) to deploy satellites into low Earth orbit, along with a classified mission for the U.S. Space Force known as USSF-31.

The SDA is currently working on building a large constellation of communications and missile-tracking sensor satellites, which will be launched in multiple batches.

ULA

ULA has been awarded two SDA launches, two missions for the National Reconnaissance Office (NROL-64 and NROL-83), the eighth Global Positioning System (GPS 3), and a classified mission for the U.S. Space Force known as USSF-114.

The National Security Space Launch Phase 2 contract is overseen by the Space Systems Command's program executive office for assured access to space. In 2020, ULA and SpaceX were awarded five-year contracts to launch up to 40 missions as part of the NSSL program. ULA secured 60% of the missions, while SpaceX obtained 40%.

However, progress under the Phase 2 contract has been limited so far. Only one NSSL mission has been launched by SpaceX in January, and an additional mission for the Space Development Agency in April was procured as a commercial launch contract rather than through the NSSL program.

The assignment of these 12 additional missions demonstrates the U.S. Space Force's confidence in SpaceX and ULA as reliable launch providers for critical national security payloads.

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