3 companies win major Air Force rocket contracts

Pablo Tucker
October 13, 2018

Northrop Grumman Corp., which acquired Orbital ATK Inc. this year, won a $791.6 million contract for development of its Omega rocket.

Currently, only ULA and SpaceX, the company Elon Musk, are used by the us air force for missions of national security.

Northrop Grumman, and Blue Origin each multi-hundred million dollar contracts on Wednesday to develop a launch system prototype by 2021 for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.


The army intends to select, in fine, the two companies to send their satellites into space, which will only use the american engines, so that the rocket Atlas that she uses now are equipped with engines of Russian. "Leveraging domestic commercial space launch systems is good for the Air Force, and a revitalized commercial launch industry is good for the taxpayer".

Northrop will perform work in Arizona, Utah, Mississippi, Florida, Ohio and Louisiana through December 31, 2024, while Blue Origin will carry out prototype development in Washington and Alabama through July 31, 2024.

The company also offers a heavy lift three-core Falcon Heavy and is developing a huge new rocket known as the BFR to eventually carry passengers to the moon and Mars.


Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, awarded $500 million for the preliminary work, will build its New Glenn Launch System. New Glenn is described as a 7-meter-diameter (23 ft), two- or three-stage rocket.

Named after Astronaut John Glenn, "New Glenn" is a single-configuration, operationally reusable launch vehicle - built right here in Kent - powered by seven BE-4 liquefied natural gas rocket engines, and it offers significant performance margin for all NSS missions. Like the New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle that preceded it, the New Glenn's first stage is created to be reusable. What would further add to the sting for Elon Musk's company, is the fact that the DOD will be selecting two of these three companies to become official launch providers for the USA government.


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