Author Topic: STPSat-6 third of nine USAF launch contracts now open for competition  (Read 6561 times)

Offline Star One

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Yep this is the third of the contracts Space X can bid on for the USAF.

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The U.S. Air Force released on Aug. 19 a draft solicitation that sets up a competition between SpaceX and United Launch Alliance to launch a multipurpose experimental satellite in late 2018 thatís equipped to detect nuclear detonations for the Pentagon and carry out a laser communications demonstration for NASA.

Known as Space Test Program Satellite (STPSat)-6, the Orbital ATK-built spacecraft will host up to eight payloads. The satelliteís primary payload is the Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System (SABRS),  which is designed to complement nuclear detonation detectors aboard current GPS spacecraft. STPSat-6 will also be carrying a Laser Communications Relay Demonstration payload built by NASAís Goddard Space Flight Center. That payload originally was scheduled to launch aboard a Space Systems/Loral satellite in 2019, but NASA opted for the Defense Department satellite citing less risk and common technology interests.

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In an effort to re-introduce competition to the national security launch industry, the Air Force has said it plans to award nine competitively bid launch contracts before the end of 2018. By releasing the draft request for proposal, the STPSat-6 launch appears to be the third of those missions. Six of the nine missions are expected to be GPS-3 satellites.

Online abaddon

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Online abaddon

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Seems a little strange that an experimental STP satellite is going to be one of the certified launcher competitive bids.  SpaceX already has STP-2 booked under the OSP-3 program, and launched DSCOVR that was also booked under OSP-3.

Offline Star One

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SpaceNews: http://spacenews.com/the-u-s-air-forces-next-launch-contract-up-for-bid-an-experimental-mission/

Thanks for doing that as I can see I forgot to include a link in my OP.

I placed this here as I suspect this Space X must be odds on to win this contract considering their past history with similar payloads.

Online Skyrocket

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Interesting is, that STPSat-6 will use a direct insertion into geostationary orbit by the launcher - a capability not yet demonstrated by SpaceX.

http://www.4-traders.com/ORBITAL-ATK-INC-20566581/news/Orbital-ATK-Sources-Sought-Notice-STPSat-6-20925446/

Offline Targeteer

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http://www.losangeles.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/959933/air-force-releases-final-stp-3-launch-services-rfp#.V-2xyJ9VBXs.facebook

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif --

The Air Force released a Request for Proposal for an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Launch Service supporting the Space Test Program (STP) 3 mission scheduled to launch in June 2019.  The draft RFP was released on Aug. 19 to obtain industry feedback to inform the final RFP.  After extensive industry engagements, the final RFP was released on Sept. 29 with proposals due back to the Air Force no later than Dec. 2 in accordance with the solicitation instructions.

The Air Force will award a firm-fixed price contract that will provide the government with a total launch solution including launch vehicle production, mission integration and launch operations for the STP-3 mission.  The Air Forceís acquisition strategy for this solicitation achieves a balance between mission success/operational needs, and lowering launch costs, through reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions.

"Through this solicitation for STP-3, we hope to promote healthy competition in order to foster  innovation while securing Assured Access to Space through multiple reliable, affordable and efficient launch service providers," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force program executive officer for Space and Space and Missile Systems Center commander.

This will be a standalone contract for the STP-3 launch service.  The STP-3 mission consists of a primary space vehicle (STPSat-6) and a propulsive EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) holding up to 6 payloads that will be identified no later than 12-months prior to launch.

The STPSat-6 space vehicle will host the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System-3 (SABRS-3) payload, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) payload.  Additionally, seven Science and Technology (S&T) payloads are manifested by the Department of Defense Space Test Program.

This is the third competitive launch service solicitation under the current Phase 1A procurement strategy.  The Phase 1A procurement strategy reintroduces competition for National Security Space launch services.

The Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., 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.
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Sam Ho

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The Solicitation is on fbo.gov; search for FA8811-16-R-0007.

Attachment 5, Instructions to Offerors, has most of the interesting information:
-Direct injection to GEO.  Maximum delta-V to target orbit 15 m/s, ideally zero.
-Minimum mass to orbit 3266kg; ideally 4546kg.
-Initial Launch Capability of 15 June 2019

Better than required injection accuracy is worth up to $19.5M, and mass to orbit up to $32.7M, in value adjustment.

Incidentally, the performance required is roughly Atlas 531.

Online Skyrocket

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Attachment 5, Instructions to Offerors, has most of the interesting information:
-Direct injection to GEO.  Maximum delta-V to target orbit 15 m/s, ideally zero.
-Minimum mass to orbit 3266kg; ideally 4546kg.
-Initial Launch Capability of 15 June 2019

AFAIK, Falcon-9 is not capable of direct injection to GEO. The Payload Userís Guide does not mention this capability. So either this has changed or a Falcon-9 launch would need an apogee stage (like the IABS on the DSCS-3 launches on Atlas II) to perform the mission requirements.

Offline vapour_nudge

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Should this topic really be under SpaceX? It shouldn't be under ULA either as neither have won this contract yet. Not sure where it should be put myself. Mods?
« Last Edit: 10/02/2016 10:33 AM by vapour_nudge »

Online gongora

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Should this topic really be under SpaceX? It shouldn't be under ULA either as neither have won this contract yet. Not sure where it should be put myself. Mods?

There really isn't an applicable forum section for this stuff other than General Discussion.

Online Skyrocket

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Should this topic really be under SpaceX? It shouldn't be under ULA either as neither have won this contract yet. Not sure where it should be put myself. Mods?

Perhaps "Other US Launchers" would be the most fitting for now.

Offline Sam Ho

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Attachment 5, Instructions to Offerors, has most of the interesting information:
-Direct injection to GEO.  Maximum delta-V to target orbit 15 m/s, ideally zero.
-Minimum mass to orbit 3266kg; ideally 4546kg.
-Initial Launch Capability of 15 June 2019

AFAIK, Falcon-9 is not capable of direct injection to GEO. The Payload Userís Guide does not mention this capability. So either this has changed or a Falcon-9 launch would need an apogee stage (like the IABS on the DSCS-3 launches on Atlas II) to perform the mission requirements.

The RFP specifically calls this out:
Quote
The Offeror shall identify if a GEO direct injection mission profile has not yet been flight demonstrated by proposed or relevant launch vehicle system.

If any of the Offerorís previous flights have not demonstrated a mission profile similar to STP-3, then the Offeror shall provide a detailed engineering and risk analysis of the launch vehicle subsystems and components that would impact orbital insertion accuracy, and any risks or limiting factors associated with the design or configuration of the affected subsystems. The Offeror shall provide a mitigation approach that addresses the identified risks associated with the undemonstrated guidance, navigation, and injection to GEO direct

Offline deltaV

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The Solicitation is on fbo.gov; search for FA8811-16-R-0007.

Attachment 5, Instructions to Offerors, has most of the interesting information:
-Direct injection to GEO.  Maximum delta-V to target orbit 15 m/s, ideally zero.

Better than required injection accuracy is worth up to $19.5M, and mass to orbit up to $32.7M, in value adjustment.

Why is 15 m/s worth almost $20M? Does this satellite have only electric propulsion or something?

Offline Targeteer

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Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, Virginia, has been awarded a $78,176,000 undefinitized contract action for Space Test Program Satellite-6 (STPSat-6) spacecraft integration and testing. Contractor will provide integration and early on-orbit support of the Department of Defense STPSat-6 space vehicle. Work will be performed at Dulles, Virginia; and Cape Canaveral, Florida, and is expected to be complete by Aug. 15, 2021. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $17,806,766 are being obligated at the time of award. Space and Missile Systems Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, is the contracting activity (FA8817-17-C-0001).
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Dante80

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Attachment 5, Instructions to Offerors, has most of the interesting information:
-Direct injection to GEO.  Maximum delta-V to target orbit 15 m/s, ideally zero.
-Minimum mass to orbit 3266kg; ideally 4546kg.
-Initial Launch Capability of 15 June 2019

AFAIK, Falcon-9 is not capable of direct injection to GEO. The Payload Userís Guide does not mention this capability. So either this has changed or a Falcon-9 launch would need an apogee stage (like the IABS on the DSCS-3 launches on Atlas II) to perform the mission requirements.

Interestingly enough, we found out that the NROL-76 campaign had a secondary goal of testing S2 endurance (multi-hour coasting phase, Mvac restart) post-release. The test might be linked to this bid in some way.
« Last Edit: 05/09/2017 09:45 AM by Dante80 »

Offline su27k

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Attachment 5, Instructions to Offerors, has most of the interesting information:
-Direct injection to GEO.  Maximum delta-V to target orbit 15 m/s, ideally zero.
-Minimum mass to orbit 3266kg; ideally 4546kg.
-Initial Launch Capability of 15 June 2019

AFAIK, Falcon-9 is not capable of direct injection to GEO. The Payload Userís Guide does not mention this capability. So either this has changed or a Falcon-9 launch would need an apogee stage (like the IABS on the DSCS-3 launches on Atlas II) to perform the mission requirements.

Interestingly enough, we found out that the NROL-76 campaign had a secondary goal of testing S2 endurance (multi-hour coasting phase, Mvac restart) post-release. The test might be linked to this bid in some way.

I don't think F9 has the performance to direct inject 3.2 metric tons to GEO. Assuming S2 mass is 4.5mt, Isp is 348s, the fuel needed for delta V of 1800m/s is ~5.4mt, so mass to GTO is ~8.6mt, above the advertised F9 expendable performance to GTO on spacex website.

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