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.
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.
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
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?
Quote from: Sam Ho on 09/30/2016 04:15 PMAttachment 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 2019AFAIK, 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 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
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.