Final request for proposal released for Air Force launch services contract
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles AFB CA (SPX) Feb 07, 2018
The Air Force released a final Request for Proposal for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Launch Services for the following payloads: National Reconnaissance Office Launch (NROL)-85, NROL-87, SILENTBARKER, Space-Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO)-5, and Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-44.
The final RFP was released on Jan. 31 with proposals due back to the Air Force on April 16 in accordance with the solicitation instructions. The contracts for these launch services are expected to be awarded in late 2018.
The Air Force will award firm-fixed-price contracts that will provide the government with a total launch solution for these missions. The award includes launch vehicle production, mission integration, and launch operations.
The Air Force's acquisition strategy for this solicitation achieves a balance between meeting operational needs and lowering launch costs by reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions. This is the sixth competitive launch service solicitation under the current Phase 1A procurement strategy.
"The Air Force utilizes a combination of source-selection techniques from across the best-value continuum that are tailored for each individual mission," said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, Space and Missile Systems Center commander.
"This solicitation incorporates a tradeoff between past performance, performance and schedule sub-factors, and price to maintain a focus on mission success for these critical payloads."
SBIRS GEO-5 and AFSPC-44 are planned to be launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or Kennedy Space Center in FY 2021. NROL-87 is planned to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in FY 2021.
NROL-85 can be launched from the Eastern or Western Range and is planned to be launched in FY 2021. SILENTBARKER is planned to be launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or Kennedy Space Center in FY 2022.
The Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the U.S. Air Force's center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems.
Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.
ASU student payloads selected to fly on Blue Origin space vehicle
Tempe AZ (SPX) Jan 29, 2018
Three Arizona State University student-led payload projects have been selected to launch into space on Blue Origin's "New Shepard" space vehicle later this year. The projects were selected during a competitive pitching competition Monday night at the School of Earth and Space Exploration. To earn a spot on "New Shepard," students were challenged to do one of three things for their payload project: answer a science question, test technology development, or engage the five senses (smell, taste, sigh ... read more
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