Opening Rocket Competition

The Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., intends to hold an industry day “in the near future” to discuss Monday’s release of a new guide establishing the Air Force’s approach to certifying commercial space launch companies to carry national security payloads into space. This new entrant certification guide follows last month’s release of a joint Air Force-NASA-National Reconnaissance Office strategy to foster these opportunities for new entrants into the national security space launch sector. The goal is to open up the commercial launch market to Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle-class missions. “The Air Force is committed to facilitating opportunities for multiple domestic EELV-class launch providers as soon as feasible,” said Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, SMC commander. “This guide provides a clear path to certification for new US commercial space transportation capabilities that demonstrate the ability to reliably launch our nation’s one-of-a-kind national security satellites.” (Los Angeles release)