Space Force awards .5 billion in rocket contracts to SpaceX and ULA for 21 launches
Space Force awards .5 billion in rocket contracts to SpaceX and ULA for 21 launches

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launches on its mission with a categorised payload for the U.S. Space Force at Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., November 1, 2022.

Steve Nesius | Reuters

The U.S. Space Force assigned 21 rocket launches to SpaceX and United Launch Alliance, price about $2.5 billion in whole, the navy department instructed CNBC.

Space Force’s Space Systems Command on Tuesday introduced the mission assignments, which symbolize the final spherical of orders below a multi-year program known as National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2.

The last batch of assignments have been break up virtually evenly, in accordance to Col. Doug Pentecost, the deputy program govt officer of the Space Force’s Space Systems Command: ULA acquired 11 missions, valued at $1.3 billion, and SpaceX acquired 10 missions, valued at $1.23 billion.

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Space Systems Command stated the missions are scheduled to launch over the following two to three years. ULA, a three way partnership of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, will use its soon-to-debut Vulcan rocket for the 11 missions, whereas SpaceX will fly seven missions with its Falcon 9 rocket and three missions with its Falcon Heavy rocket.

SpaceX provides market share

The Falcon Heavy rocket for the U.S.-44 mission rolls out to the launchpad on Oct. 31, 2022.


Space Force expanded the NSSL Phase 2 program considerably since naming SpaceX and ULA as its two launch providers in 2020.

Originally, Phase 2 was to include 34 missions. Space Force had beforehand introduced that of mission assignments, 60% would go to ULA and 40% to SpaceX.

But elevated demand for nationwide safety launches grew Phase 2, and Space Force has assigned 48 missions over the course of this system. In the tip, Phase 2 was nearer to a good break up, with Elon Musk’s firm receiving contracts for 22 missions to ULA’s 26 missions – or 46% share to 54%.

Pentecost stated in an announcement to CNBC that Space Force assigned extra missions to SpaceX than beforehand anticipated “based mostly on the Government evaluation of readiness.”

“It is crucial to quickly ship essential area capabilities to the Joint Warfighter as quickly as they’re prepared to be launched – we can’t go away functionality sitting on the bottom,” he stated.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets are operational and licensed to fly nationwide safety launches, whereas ULA’s Vulcan has but to launch to orbit and obtain Space Force certification.

The last Phase 2 assignments come as Space Force prepares to ramp up the NSSL program even further with Phase 3. The navy company this 12 months kicked off the method to purchase an estimated 90 launches in the following spherical.

Pentecost’s division will quickly start the method of reviewing firms’ Phase 3 bids and expects to announce the winners subsequent October.

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