Author Topic: USSF NSSL Phase 3 Launch Service Procurement  (Read 5498 times)

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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: USSF NSSL Phase 3 Launch Service Procurement
« Reply #22 on: 06/28/2022 09:25 pm »

To participate, BO would need a launch pad and other infrastructure at SLC, right? Their facilities at KSC are not secure enough.

Based on what?
Based on a misunderstanding on my part. I thought USSF (or NRO or whoever makes these decisions) preferred to launch from SLC. I now know I was wrong. I should have made it part of the question, not an assertion.

Salt Lake City?
I meant a pad whose abbreviation starts with "SLC" (e.g., SLC-40) , which I think means "Space Launch Complex". What I should have said was "Cape Canaveral Space Force Station", which under control of USSF, in contrast to a pad whose abbreviation starts with "LC" (e.g., LC-39A) which is part of "Kennedy Space Center" and is under control of NASA.

Blue Origin does not have a launch site at KSC. They are using LC-36 and LC-11, in CCSFS.

LC-36 was once called SLC-36 (from 1997 to 2010). It is still owned by the Space Force and is part of CCSFS, they leased it to Space Florida, who then leased it to Blue Origin.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

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Re: USSF NSSL Phase 3 Launch Service Procurement
« Reply #23 on: 06/28/2022 09:46 pm »
In 2026, is NSSL a significant enough sliver of the launch market to matter? Why should launch providers care about NSSL requirements when there's Kuiper and other megaconstellations driving the vast majority of demand growth? Why should Blue Origin support direct-to-GEO missions with a reusable Jarvis upper stage? Why should Rocket Lab scale Neutron to cover the range of NSSL payload classes?

The US military is talking about buying *maybe* 30-34 launches over a five year period. It could be significantly less than that. There could be six missions one year and two missions the next. Amazon placed a firm order for 83 launches over a five year period, and there will be more where that came from. Whose requirements are more important? Who has more clout to drive requirements for launch providers?

ULA supports NSSL requirements. SpaceX had already developed FH and was all but forced to promise a vertical integration tower and a special expendable payload fairing. That's enough providers bending over backwards for a vanishingly small number of snowflake payloads. Other providers should be able to bid on the missions that they are capable of executing.

Blue Origin, in particular, needs to resist the urge to make any more pivots to win a government contract. Forget about the stodgy military customers and skate to where the puck is going.

Yes, it matters. Why should they do those things, you ask?

It's not about the volume of launches, but the high value of the contracts. The military / US gov tends to pay very well.

As an example, the company I work for assembles circuit boards. We have a few high volume customers for which we produce several tens of thousands of completed circuit boards per year. In spite of that, we get the most money per year from our military and aerospace contracts, even though they are for a much smaller number of completed circuit boards, just a few thousand per year. And we do bend over backwards to keep that money coming in, for example, by maintaining our AS9100  and ITAR certifications.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline su27k

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Re: USSF NSSL Phase 3 Launch Service Procurement
« Reply #24 on: 07/03/2022 04:12 am »
Space Force considering strategy for procuring national security launch services

Quote from: SpaceNews
The Space Force launch procurement command in Los Angeles later this year will send to the Pentagon a proposed strategy for selecting national security launch services providers for the next round of contracts expected to be awarded in 2024.

“The NSSL [National Security Space Launch] team is off working the strategy for Phase 3, but nothing has been agreed to yet,” Frank Calvelli, the Space Force’s senior acquisition executive, told reporters June 28.

Offline su27k

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Re: USSF NSSL Phase 3 Launch Service Procurement
« Reply #25 on: 09/02/2022 03:03 am »
With billions at stake, lobbying heats up for future rights to Space Force launches

Quote from: breakingdefense.com
Some 25 House members have signed onto a draft letter being circulated by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., pushing restrictions on the contenders. That letter was drafted by current incumbent, United Launch Alliance, according to industry sources; ULA is a joint venture of defense behemoths Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

The undated draft, addressed to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and obtained by Breaking Defense, encourages the Space Force to “continue requiring launch providers meet all critical mission requirements.” This would effectively limit the contest to those companies with large, “high energy” rockets that can loft satellites all the way up to Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO, some 36,000 kilometers in altitude) and block out small launch providers who can only reach Low Earth Orbit (LEO, between 100 and 2,000 kilometers) even for missions that only need to reach that lower zone, according to several industry sources.

Offline su27k

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Re: USSF NSSL Phase 3 Launch Service Procurement
« Reply #26 on: 09/21/2022 01:37 am »
Draft solicitation for national security space launch services expected in early 2023

Quote from: SpaceNews
The U.S. Space Force is working to finalize a procurement strategy for the next national security launch services contracts expected to be awarded in 2024.

A draft request for industry proposals could be issued as early as February 2023, Brig. Gen. Stephen Purdy, the Space Force’s program executive officer for assured access to space, told SpaceNews on the sidelines of the Air, Space & Cyber conference.

Before the Space Systems Command can release a draft request for proposals, the strategy has to be approved by the Department of Defense, said Purdy. “We are trying to get everyone at DoD to agree … there are a lot of stakeholders.”

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