July 22, 2018

U.S. Air Force certifies Falcon Heavy rocket, awards launch contract

June 26, 2018

The successful maiden flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket in February was enough for the U.S. Air Force to certify the huge booster to carry the military’s most precious cargo into orbit, beginning with the mid-2020 launch of a classified payload under a $130 million contract awarded last week.

Orbital ATK names new launcher, selects upper stage engine

April 20, 2018

Orbital ATK’s proposed rocket to answer the U.S. Air Force’s desire for two families of satellite launchers with U.S.-made propulsion systems will be named OmegA, and the company has selected the cryogenic Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 engine to power the vehicle’s upper stage, officials announced this week.

Orbital ATK confident new rocket will win Air Force support

April 12, 2018

Orbital ATK’s bid to join the U.S. military’s roster of rockets to haul the most critical national security satellites into orbit faces stiff competition from entrenched launch providers and billionaire entrepreneurs, but the company is confident its Next Generation Launch system will win one of three funding agreements the Air Force is expected to award this summer.

Q&A with Claire Leon, director of launch enterprise directorate at SMC

March 24, 2017

The head of the launch enterprise directorate at the U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Claire Leon, spoke with reporters March 15 about the military’s award of a GPS launch contract to SpaceX, and she discussed plans for more head-to-head launch contract competitions in the coming months.

Milestone-setting 100th EELV rocket moves to launch pad

November 18, 2016

The 100th rocket in America’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, the current fleet of boosters used by the nation to get its critical assets into space, was rolled to the pad Friday morning for a vital mission on Saturday.

Falcon 9 upgrade receives blessing from U.S. Air Force

January 25, 2016

The U.S. Air Force on Monday certified the latest version of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, featuring higher-thrust engines, enlarged fuel tanks and a super-chilled propellant mixture, for launches of the military’s most valuable satellites.

Air Force stays the course with SpaceX rocket certification

July 2, 2015

Sunday’s Falcon 9 rocket failure may have blemished SpaceX’s success record, but the mishap will not keep the entrepreneurial space company from competing for U.S. military launch contracts with rival United Launch Alliance, according to an Air Force general.

SpaceX cleared to launch U.S. national security satellites

May 27, 2015

The U.S. Air Force announced Tuesday that SpaceX is now eligible to compete for launches of U.S. national security satellites, closing a tumultuous chapter in the U.S. rocket industry and ending the Pentagon’s sole reliance on United Launch Alliance to haul military payloads into orbit.

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