The Rockets’ Red Ink: from EELV to a Competitive Space Launch Future
Extra Atlas V ordered.
Sept 29/14: United Launch Services LLC in Littleton, CO receives a $127 million firm-fixed-price contract modification, exercising an option for 1 Air Force Atlas V 531 (5m fairing, 3 boosters), and the exercise of an option for backlog transportation. It’s a FY 2014 launch vehicle configuration, will all funds committed immediately using FY 2013 and 201 USAF missile budgets.
Work will be performed at Centennial, CO, and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, and is expected to be complete by Aug 15/15. USAF Space and Missile Systems, Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA manages the contract (FA8811-13-C-0003, PO 0055).
The EELV program was designed to reduce the cost of government space launches through greater contractor competition, and modifiable rocket families whose system requirements emphasized simplicity, commonality, standardization, new applications of existing technology, streamlined manufacturing capabilities, and more efficient launch-site processing. Result: the Delta IV (Boeing) and Atlas V (Lockheed Martin) heavy rockets.
Paradoxically, that very program may have forced the October 2006 merger of Boeing & Lockheed Martin’s rocket divisions. Crosslink Magazine’s Winter 2004 article “EELV: The Next Stage of Space Launch” offers an excellent briefing that covers EELV’s program innovations and results, while a detailed National Taxpayer’s Union letter to Congress takes a much less positive view. This DID Spotlight article looks at the Delta IV and Atlas V rockets, emerging challengers like SpaceX and the new competition framework, and the US government contracts placed since the merger that formed the United Launch Alliance.Displaying 258 of 14,345 words (about 36 pages)
The EELV System
Military Satellite Payloads
EELV Budgets & Structure
Competition Again? The New “Open” Launch Framework
Going Forward: Block Buys in a Broader EELV Program
Contracts & Key Events
FY 2008 – 2009
FY 2006 – 2007
Firms & Platforms
Official Reports & Legal
News & Views
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