Author Topic: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins  (Read 3626 times)

Offline Dante80

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Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« on: 08/03/2016 06:52 PM »
Quoting from Defense News. Here

A question. The article says that for this procedure draft RfPs will be used, so as to enable both companies to provide input into the procedure itself.

Wasn't that what happened in the last time too though?

« Last Edit: 03/15/2017 03:25 AM by Carl G »

Offline ethan829

Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #1 on: 08/03/2016 08:08 PM »
Wasn't that what happened in the last time too though?

It definitely was:

Quote from: Tory Bruno
Yes, there were draft RFPs and feedback before.
https://www.reddit.com/r/ula/comments/4vzkek/next_gps_iii_launch_contest_begins/d62s96z[/size]

Offline Brovane

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #2 on: 08/03/2016 08:24 PM »
It will be interesting if SpaceX submits two bids.  Hopefully sometime soon we can find out if the two SpaceX bid's was for either doing HI or VI.  ULA at least has a idea of the price point they need to hit to win the contract. 

So what say the board, will ULA bid around $120 Million firm fixed price? 
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Offline Dante80

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #3 on: 08/03/2016 09:34 PM »

So what say the board, will ULA bid around $120 Million firm fixed price?

This payload is doable in a 401, right?

The cheapest confirmed quote I've seen posted around for an Atlas V launch is this one:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-services-contract-for-next-tracking-data-relay-satellite/

Quote
NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC of Centennial, Colorado, to provide launch services for the agency’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M) mission. The mission will launch in October 2017 aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The total cost for NASA to launch TDRS-M is approximately $132.4 million, which includes the launch service, spacecraft processing, payload integration, tracking, data and telemetry, and other launch support requirements.

I don't have any idea on what ULA will have to pay DoD for the ELC compensation part of the mission (which would be added on the total cost on top of the $132.4 million, if you want to do a straight apples to apples comparison).

$120M seems pretty aggressive!
« Last Edit: 08/03/2016 09:41 PM by Dante80 »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #4 on: 08/04/2016 02:42 AM »
Will this help with Pokemon Go?
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Offline dlapine

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #5 on: 08/04/2016 06:29 PM »

So what say the board, will ULA bid around $120 Million firm fixed price?

This payload is doable in a 401, right?

The cheapest confirmed quote I've seen posted around for an Atlas V launch is this one:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-services-contract-for-next-tracking-data-relay-satellite/

Quote
NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC of Centennial, Colorado, to provide launch services for the agency’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M) mission. The mission will launch in October 2017 aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The total cost for NASA to launch TDRS-M is approximately $132.4 million, which includes the launch service, spacecraft processing, payload integration, tracking, data and telemetry, and other launch support requirements.

I don't have any idea on what ULA will have to pay DoD for the ELC compensation part of the mission (which would be added on the total cost on top of the $132.4 million, if you want to do a straight apples to apples comparison).

$120M seems pretty aggressive!

Given that SpaceX's last "total cost" bid for a GPS launch was $82.7M, maybe a better question is will SpaceX increase their asking price for this one? Or possibly make a bid with a discount if USAF allows them to re-use a first stage?

Looks like SpaceX has significant leeway here.


Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #6 on: 08/05/2016 05:11 AM »
Isn't bidding one bird at a time for launch not very efficient?
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Jarnis

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #7 on: 08/05/2016 10:40 AM »
Isn't bidding one bird at a time for launch not very efficient?

Well, it would be somewhat anticompetitive to lock Air Force into a large block buy contract...  ;)

Offline Rummy

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #8 on: 08/05/2016 05:06 PM »
Isn't bidding one bird at a time for launch not very efficient?

Well, it would be somewhat anticompetitive to lock Air Force into a large block buy contract...  ;)

Block Buys are more efficient, but there is something to be said for holding several small competitions that will bring in lessons learned for an eventual block buy.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #9 on: 08/06/2016 06:22 AM »
Well, it would be somewhat anticompetitive to lock Air Force into a large block buy contract...  ;)

Commercial companies do block buys all the time with perhaps a smaller order on the side (e.g., OneWeb buying 21 Soyuz launches plus a small number of Launcher Ones, or Iridium launching nearly all their satellites on Falcon 9 except a couple on Dnepr). The USAF and NRO can do a separate block buy for each of their programs. Doesn't mean one company gets all the payloads of all the programs, like the ULA block buy.
« Last Edit: 08/06/2016 06:45 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #10 on: 08/07/2016 02:45 AM »
Isn't bidding one bird at a time for launch not very efficient?

Now that there is competition, not necessarily.  Sure, in the normal world of contracting services you might get a discount if you purchase more, or make some sort of long term commitment.

But this is part of a block of launch contracts that the USAF set aside specifically to be competed, not awarded in one lump amount.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline baldusi

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #11 on: 08/07/2016 12:13 PM »
Isn't bidding one bird at a time for launch not very efficient?

Now that there is competition, not necessarily.  Sure, in the normal world of contracting services you might get a discount if you purchase more, or make some sort of long term commitment.

But this is part of a block of launch contracts that the USAF set aside specifically to be competed, not awarded in one lump amount.
Yes, it is more about assured access to space a competition. The problem with block buys is that once a contractor wins a contract, the other is left out. When you have to few contracts and you are such a huge percentage of the market, it might put one of your suppliers out of business.
Since assured access to space is one of the requirements, that's not good. If the guy who lost a contract really needs some revenue, they might even sell a few services at a loss. They will lose some money but will be able to cover payroll.
Not to mention that once one of only two suppliers get out of business you are in a monopoly.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #12 on: 08/07/2016 07:18 PM »
Yes, it is more about assured access to space a competition. The problem with block buys is that once a contractor wins a contract, the other is left out. When you have to few contracts and you are such a huge percentage of the market, it might put one of your suppliers out of business.
Since assured access to space is one of the requirements, that's not good. If the guy who lost a contract really needs some revenue, they might even sell a few services at a loss. They will lose some money but will be able to cover payroll.
Not to mention that once one of only two suppliers get out of business you are in a monopoly.

You're touching on all the right issues.

Ideally it would not matter if one or the other competitor does not win, since they would have other launch customers to fill their launch manifest.  SpaceX is certainly in this situation where they have a healthy backlog of commercial and NASA work in case they don't win USAF orders.

ULA, which is still reliant on USAF contracts to survive, has more to lose for each contract they don't win.  And though ULA is owned by the two largest government contractors in the U.S., it's parents have not shown a great interest in investing in ULA's future - it's the worst combination of factors for them to overcome as the try to transition to a new marketplace reality...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online gongora

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #13 on: 12/03/2016 10:44 PM »
Shouldn't this be awarded in the next couple months, or did Congress change the funding timelines for these due to the OCX problems?  I can't remember what happened with all that.

Anyway, it looks like no one ever linked the actual solicitation, here it is: Solicitation Number: 16-084

Offline Dante80

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #14 on: 03/15/2017 02:15 AM »
Quote

 LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. --

The Air Force announced today the award of the second competitively sourced National Security Space (NSS) launch services contract in more than a decade. Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) was awarded a contract for Global Positioning System (GPS) III Launch Services. This is a firm-fixed price, standalone contract with a total value of $96,500,490. SpaceX will provide the Government with a total launch solution for the GPS-III satellite, which includes launch vehicle production, mission integration, and launch operations and spaceflight certification. The launch will be the third GPS III launch and is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida in February 2019.

“The competitive award of the GPS III Launch Services contract to SpaceX directly supports SMC’s mission of delivering resilient and affordable space capabilities to our Nation,” said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force program executive officer for Space and SMC commander.

GPS III is the next generation of GPS satellites that will introduce new capabilities to meet the higher demands of both military and civilian users. The satellite is expected to provide improved anti-jamming capabilities as well as improved accuracy for precision navigation and timing. It will incorporate the common L1C signal, which is compatible with the European Space Agency’s Galileo global navigation satellite system and complement current services with the addition of new civil and military signals.

The Phase 1A procurement strategy reintroduces competition for national security space launch services. This is the second of nine competitive launch services planned in the FY 2017 President’s Budget Request under the current Phase 1A procurement strategy. The Phase 1A construct was recently extended from FY17 to FY19 to allow the development of new launch vehicles, which added 5 additional competitive launches for a total of 14 competitive launches. The next competitive award for launch services is the Space Test Program (STP) 3 satellite. This award marks another milestone in the Air Force’s ongoing efforts to reintroduce a competitive procurement environment into the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program.

In May 2015, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) was certified for EELV launches resulting in two launch service providers that are capable to design, produce, qualify, and deliver a launch capability and provide the mission assurance support required to deliver national security space satellites to orbit. The certified baseline configuration of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Launch System to Falcon 9 Upgrade was recently updated for use in National Security Space (NSS) missions.

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.


Media representatives can submit questions for response regarding this topic by sending an e-mail to smcpa.media@us.af.mil

http://www.losangeles.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1113835/spacex-awarded-contract-for-gps-iii-3-launch-services
« Last Edit: 03/15/2017 02:16 AM by Dante80 »

Offline AncientU

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #15 on: 03/15/2017 09:32 AM »
Quote

 LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. --

The Air Force announced today the award of the second competitively sourced National Security Space (NSS) launch services contract in more than a decade.
...


This seems to be the counter that matters... other recent DoD awards were not competed.
« Last Edit: 03/15/2017 09:34 AM by AncientU »
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Next GPS III Launch Contest Begins
« Reply #16 on: 03/15/2017 02:48 PM »
Quote

 LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. --

The Air Force announced today the award of the second competitively sourced National Security Space (NSS) launch services contract in more than a decade.
...


This seems to be the counter that matters... other recent DoD awards were not competed.
All GPS-III was rebid after certain matters broke to the surface to the public and congressional spotlight. Before GPS-III-1's launch date was delayed the flight was considered to close to launch to give to SpaceX even though SpaceX was the cheaper option and as the DIV launcher for the flight was already built. GPS-III-2 in the rebid went to SpaceX after ULA retaliated by not bidding since they assumed USAF would rule that SpaceX was not qualified, which did go according to ULA's plan. GPS-III-3 was the first time that both launch providers bid on a GPS-III launch. When it comes to dual launching them in a few years FH will have to be proven before then and GPS-III, which I seem to recall, is using a non-self-stackable version of the A-2100M (Standard) bus, thus a dispenser like DSS-5 would need to be developed by SpaceX to compete for dual launches.
« Last Edit: 03/15/2017 02:57 PM by russianhalo117 »

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