Author Topic: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019  (Read 7257 times)

Offline Dante80

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ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« on: 09/30/2016 04:58 PM »
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 Force’s 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.

http://www.losangeles.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/959933/air-force-releases-final-stp-3-launch-services-rfp
« Last Edit: 06/29/2017 11:28 PM by gongora »

Offline Dante80

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Good luck to both competitors. It will be very interesting to see what the bids will be on this one.
Or whether both will bid.

This is a straight GEO insertion campaign (OrbAtk A-500 bus), right?
« Last Edit: 09/30/2016 05:09 PM by Dante80 »


Offline gongora

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Are we still awaiting a winner for this mission?

Related:
https://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/release.asp?prid=216

The launch hasn't been awarded yet.  I don't think the GPS mission that was bid last September has been awarded yet either.

Offline gongora

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Tweet from James Dean
Quote
In Air Force's 3rd competitive EELV award, ULA wins $191M contract to launch Space Test Program 3 mission from Cape Canaveral in June 2019.

Offline gongora

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Today's DoD Contracts
Quote
United Launch Services LLC has been awarded a $191,141,581 firm-fixed-price contract for launch services, to deliver the Space Test Program-3 (STP-3) satellite to its intended orbit. Contractor will provide launch vehicle production, mission integration, launch operations, spaceflight worthiness and mission unique activities for an STP-3 mission. Work will be performed at Centennial, Colorado; Decatur, Alabama; and Cape Canaveral, Florida, with an initial launch capability date of June 2019 and is expected to be complete by Aug. 31, 2019. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with two proposals received. Fiscal 2017 space procurement; and research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $184,905,023 are being obligated at the time of award. Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity (FA8811-17-C-0008).

Offline gongora

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #6 on: 06/29/2017 11:29 PM »
Tweet from Tory Bruno
Quote
Mighty Atlas: Atlas V 551 with a propulsive ESPA

Online M.E.T.

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #7 on: 06/30/2017 11:49 AM »
So, if SpaceX came in at a much lower price for this bid, what type of motivation would the Air Force need to provide to justify awarding it to another provider at a much higher price?

Offline gongora

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #8 on: 06/30/2017 12:10 PM »
So, if SpaceX came in at a much lower price for this bid, what type of motivation would the Air Force need to provide to justify awarding it to another provider at a much higher price?

Falcon Heavy hasn't flown or been certified yet.

Offline calapine

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #9 on: 06/30/2017 12:49 PM »
So, if SpaceX came in at a much lower price for this bid, what type of motivation would the Air Force need to provide to justify awarding it to another provider at a much higher price?


The STPSat 6 is to be delivered directly into GEO. As far as I know that is not a service SpaceX can offer yet.

Offline SmallKing

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #10 on: 06/30/2017 12:54 PM »
So, if SpaceX came in at a much lower price for this bid, what type of motivation would the Air Force need to provide to justify awarding it to another provider at a much higher price?


The STPSat 6 is to be delivered directly into GEO. As far as I know that is not a service SpaceX can offer yet.
But it can be done with a propulsive ESPA
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Offline gongora

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #11 on: 06/30/2017 01:04 PM »
So, if SpaceX came in at a much lower price for this bid, what type of motivation would the Air Force need to provide to justify awarding it to another provider at a much higher price?


The STPSat 6 is to be delivered directly into GEO. As far as I know that is not a service SpaceX can offer yet.
But it can be done with a propulsive ESPA

The propulsive ESPA in the bid isn't to reach orbit, it's for maneuvering after they get to the planned orbit.  The ESPA ring is either functioning as the body of a spacecraft or will disperse smaller payloads where they need to go.  There is another setup like this in the next batch of Air Force launches that will be bid.  SpaceX would need to add another propulsive element to the payload stack to get it to the planned orbit with F9.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #12 on: 06/30/2017 01:14 PM »
So, if SpaceX came in at a much lower price for this bid, what type of motivation would the Air Force need to provide to justify awarding it to another provider at a much higher price?

Falcon Heavy hasn't flown or been certified yet.

Yep:

Quote
Good win for ULA. Per a source, SpaceX had to compete with Falcon Heavy for this mission, and therefore expected to lose.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/880772854312308740

Online abaddon

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #13 on: 06/30/2017 03:49 PM »
So that makes one out of three "competitive bid" launches that actually saw competitive bids so far.  (First bid ULA passed, second both had bids, third SpaceX "couldn't win" with their bid, so that doesn't count either).  I get that there are reasons for this, but it's a little disappointing.

(Also, the upcoming X37-B launch was not bid competitively, but it wasn't one of the launches that was designated as a competitive bid scenario).

Anyone have any insight on whether the FH would have qualified, if it were eligible?  (In other words, are there other services missing that might have made an impact anyway?).

Also, worth noting that this launch seems on the cheaper end than other AV551 launches, so props to ULA for that.
« Last Edit: 06/30/2017 03:51 PM by abaddon »

Offline Star One

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ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #14 on: 06/30/2017 06:42 PM »
This article explains pretty clearly why ULA won this contract. See quotes below which expand on the Tweets above.

ULA wins competition for $191 million Air Force launch

Quote
The payload for STP-3 will be the STPSat-6 vehicle with the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System-3, an experimental blast detection system. It will also carry NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration payload and six secondary payloads the Air Force said would be announced no later than a year prior to launch.

Quote
John Taylor, a spokesman for SpaceX, said in a statement that “the mission performance required that we bid Falcon Heavy,” a rocket that is still in the process of receiving final certification from the government for military launches.

“We did submit a bid, but with the knowledge that our first Falcon Heavy flight might occur after the time of the award,” Taylor said. “Given we have not flown Falcon Heavy, we did not anticipate winning this mission.”

SMC Launch Enterprise Director Claire Leon told reporters Friday that the price for the launch was lower than in the sole-sourced era, and that she believed the competition between ULA and SpaceX had gotten taxpayers a better price.

http://spacenews.com/ula-wins-competition-for-191-million-air-force-launch/
« Last Edit: 06/30/2017 07:24 PM by Star One »

Online woods170

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #15 on: 07/01/2017 01:45 PM »
This article explains pretty clearly why ULA won this contract. See quotes below which expand on the Tweets above.

ULA wins competition for $191 million Air Force launch

Quote
The payload for STP-3 will be the STPSat-6 vehicle with the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System-3, an experimental blast detection system. It will also carry NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration payload and six secondary payloads the Air Force said would be announced no later than a year prior to launch.

Quote
John Taylor, a spokesman for SpaceX, said in a statement that “the mission performance required that we bid Falcon Heavy,” a rocket that is still in the process of receiving final certification from the government for military launches.

“We did submit a bid, but with the knowledge that our first Falcon Heavy flight might occur after the time of the award,” Taylor said. “Given we have not flown Falcon Heavy, we did not anticipate winning this mission.”

SMC Launch Enterprise Director Claire Leon told reporters Friday that the price for the launch was lower than in the sole-sourced era, and that she believed the competition between ULA and SpaceX had gotten taxpayers a better price.

http://spacenews.com/ula-wins-competition-for-191-million-air-force-launch/
Emphasis mine.
Nice to see that the US taxpayer gets a better deal even when SpaceX doesn't win the launch. Just having SpaceX around is enough to have ULA offer a better deal to the USG.

Offline Mike Jones

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #16 on: 07/01/2017 02:12 PM »
Even when ULA wins a contract it is great thanks to SpaceX ... Some people are acting like real hardcore fans with them :)

Offline gongora

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #17 on: 07/01/2017 02:30 PM »
Nice to see that the US taxpayer gets a better deal even when SpaceX doesn't win the launch. Just having SpaceX around is enough to have ULA offer a better deal to the USG.

It does seem to be a more reasonable price from ULA if there isn't also additional money in the background somewhere.  The gap between F9 and Delta IV-H is probably where ULA offers the best value right now.

Offline spacetraveler

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #18 on: 07/01/2017 03:19 PM »
The competiton is going to be heating up over the next few years. I read that with the announcements yesterday all cores in the block buy have now been assigned.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: ULA Atlas V 551: STP-3 : June 2019
« Reply #19 on: 07/01/2017 04:16 PM »
The competiton is going to be heating up over the next few years. I read that with the announcements yesterday all cores in the block buy have now been assigned.

I don't think this was part of the block buy, Tory Bruno indicated on twitter that ELC funds did not apply to this launch (so not part of the block buy), but maybe I'm misunderstanding.

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