The U.S. Air Force announced plans to award space launch contracts later in 2018. The space launch is for five satellites that consist of some of the military’s most sensitive big-ticket payloads. It has been hardly two years since SpaceX became a legitimate competitor in global market.
Earlier it was totally owned by United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company. The U.S. Air Force released a final call for accepting the proposals for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) launch services for two National Reconnaissance Office payloads, the fifth space-based infrared system geosynchronous earth orbit satellite, an Air Force Space Command mission dubbed AFSPC-44 and a secret surveillance mission SilentBarker. If SpaceX wins at least one or two launches in the next round of contracts, it would further prove its position as a market disruptor. Further, it will set the stage for the company to win even more military work. It will enable the larger Falcon Heavy rocket to get certified to fly government payloads. The present proposals are due till April 2016 and are expected to be passed in late 2018. Five payloads could create a tough challenge to launch providers companies because each one has its unique features. It is the sixth competitive launch service solicitation under the present phase of the EELV program. It is expected that the competition will grow after getting certification of the Falcon Heavy and they are trying to lower its costing.
By: Anita Aishvarya