Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said he’s not seeking a return of milestone decision authority for space programs from the Defense Department. Speaking with reporters Monday, Donley said that last week’s announced restructure of the Air Force headquarters space enterprise wasn’t meant as an overture to regain space acquisition authority, which was taken away about five years ago, during a leadership vaccum at the undersecretary level. “I expect the milestone decision authority… for ACAT 1 and space to remain with AT&L [the defense undersecretariat for acquisition, technology, and logistics], Donley said. “I think that makes sense for the department.” He said such authority should stay there given the Pentagon’s efforts at streamlining acquisition. There was a “separate process for space” and there shouldn’t be, he said. He added that the fact that he has not requested return of milestone authority “did not get close attention” when the HQ space restructure was announced.
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.