The United States Air Force has found a couple of satellite launch providers on a long-term basis. These are SpaceX and United Launch Alliance, who are sharing the $640 million in contracts. It is a strategic choice by the American Uniformed service provider. On one hand, SpaceX is a fresh and independent organization being prospective with economical visions. On the other, ULA (a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing Defense) has a ‘long military legacy,’ as WSJ puts it.
The US government recently announced procurement plans, based on which it has the Air Force announcement of the split-venture been implemented. The awards are a part of their ongoing efforts in not just being more economical but also having access to space launch missions with two or more service providers in the field.
The SpaceX United Launch Alliance joint venture is on course to develop a low-cost rocket-family for more effective missions in the future. However, to reach the point where routine flights are possible, it will take about three to four years at most.
Pentagon and Congress did say that they will play support for the two launch providers by supporting transition policies, as these will allocate launches for both equally.
SpaceX is pleased with the Air Force’s decision to select us for all five of the GPS [launches] competed to date. – Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX
Tory Bruno, President, and CEO of ULA revealed that it is developing its next-gen rocket named Vulcan. Several of the venture’s major subcontractors are to further invest in essential technologies.
Presently, ULA is coming up with about half launches of the same by SpaceX annually. Therefore, the gradual increment of launches over the years can be expected, which will basically underline the success of the joint venture.
Stay with us for the next update of the space world as it surfaces.