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SMC Issues Final RFP For Five EELV Launches; SBIRS & 4 Classified Payloads

Posted by Colin Clark on


CLARIFIED: Adds SMC Comment On Launch Providers WASHINGTON: Last night the Air Force released the final Request For Proposals for five launch contracts for NRO and Air Force Space Command. The most intriguing payload is a code-word program, shared by the NRO and Air Force Space Command, known as SILENTBARKER, which has been described as… Keep reading →

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Zuma: A New Twist On Space Radar?

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Before we go any further, this story is based on direct observations of what was believed to be the so-called Zuma satellite, as well as a lot of spookily sourced information, most of it from a single source who shall not be identified. First, nobody who doesn’t have extremely high clearance really knows if… Keep reading →

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SpaceX ‘Kicking Major Butt’ To Launch X-37B For First Time, Not ULA’s Atlas V

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Adds Insights On Signficance ONRCO Mum So Far ON Switch GEOINT: In news sure to rock the launch industry, the mighty United Launch Alliance today failed to be named as the company launching the X-37B spaceplane. Instead, Elon Musk’s SpaceX will carry it for the first time, marking what is believed to be the… Keep reading →

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SMC: ‘High Confidence’ In SpaceX, But Watching Closely

Posted by Colin Clark on


Although the world is awfully excited about Elon Musk’s announcement this week that he’ll be selling tickets to Mars, there are other pressing issues facing SpaceX, such as the cause of the Sept. 1 explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket and much of its launch pad. The day that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 exploded on the… Keep reading →

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Falcon 9 Explodes At Cape Canaveral; Assured Access In Peril?

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: ADDS SMC Statement; 45th Space Wing Statement WASHINGTON: Elon Musk’s SpaceX faces a stark accounting after today’s explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket during engine testing at Cape Canaveral. Hopeful of greatly increased business with Air Force Space Command, who has already awarded one contract to Musk’s company for the second GPS III satellite… Keep reading →

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Give DoD 18 RD-180s; Alternatives Too Late, Too Costly

Posted by Doug Birkey on


When the National Defense Authorization Bill comes to the Senate floor, lawmakers will face an important choice regarding the future of national security space launch. The Defense Department has relied upon United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Delta IV and Atlas V rockets — the latter powered by the Russian-built RD-180 engine. Maintaining redundant launch system capabilities —… Keep reading →

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It’s Preliminary: ULA Won’t Be Sanctioned

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: It’s not officially official, but the head of Pentagon acquisition, Frank Kendall, says the Treasury Department has not found any reason for sanctions to be applied against the United Launch Alliance. “The preliminary indications from Treasury (Department) are that they do not apply,” Kendall told reporters after a lunch address to the Washington Space… Keep reading →

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Elon’s SpaceX Gets Certified For National Security Launches; Can You Say Disruption?

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: While few doubted it would happen, the news that Elon Musk’s scrappy, pushy and — yes — disruptive launch company SpaceX won certification from Space and Missile Systems Center carries enormous import for the international launch industry, for the Pentagon, the Air Force and the Intelligence Community. It’s not that Musk’s SpaceX is going… Keep reading →

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Will SpaceX Be Ready For Launch Dec. 1st?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


NATIONAL HARBOR: When will the Air Force certify SpaceX as ready to launch military satellites — if they certify the upstart startup at all? The new chief of Air Force Space Command said this morning that “hopefully” he could certify SpaceX by December 1st. Just hours later, though, the Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah… Keep reading →

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Musk Protests Air Force Launch Awards, Hopes To Break EELV Deal

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: When you’re a disruptive company owned by a disruptive personality you tend to do things that disrupt your industry, and SpaceX and Elon Musk must be the most publicly disruptive pairing in America right now. Now he’s filing a protest against what is potentially his biggest customer, the US Air Force, for giving the business… Keep reading →

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