Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Chandler Rocket Company Receives $800M Air Force Contract

Chandler Rocket Company Receives $800M Air Force Contract

Through public-private partnership agreements, the goal of the acquisition strategy is to satisfy federal law by ensuring that the US maintains assured access to space, with at least two domestic launch service providers and without reliance on non-allied rocket propulsion systems. ULA will launch the rocket from pads it already operates at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Vandenberg Air Fore Base, Calif.

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

The Omega rocket uses a large solid-propellant first stage and hydrogen-fueled RL10 engines in its upper stage.

Artist concept of Northrop Grumman's OmegA Rocket, which is built in Chandler, Arizona.

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. The Air Force has committed through 2024 a total of $500 million in OTA funds for Blue Origin, $792 million for Northrop Grumman and $967 million for ULA. Bezos tweeted a thank-you message Wednesday to the Air Force for its "confidence in the Blue Origin team".

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Briatore acknowledged, however, that Ferrari also "made a lot of strategy mistakes in the last three or four races". Vettel could not provide an answer as to why the team has struggled.

The Air Force said the OTAs awarded through a competitive acquisition process are part of its plan to competitively select two domestic commercial service providers that can support the launch of national security payloads by fiscal 2020.

The three contracts are part of a Department of Defense initiative to assure constant military access to space and curb reliance on foreign-made rocket engines, like ULA's flagship Atlas V rocket that uses Russian-made RD-180 boosters.

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.

Blue Origin is profiting from the retirement of the United Launch Alliance's Delta IV, which first experienced flight in 2002.

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