Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, visited SpaceX recently to talk about the certification process, which will allow the company to compete for military and intelligence satellite launches, and to receive an update on the company’s activities, according to an Aug. 18 release. Greaves met with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell and toured the Hawthorne, Calif., facility on Aug. 7, states the release. “We want to ensure a cooperative path toward SpaceX’s certification,” Greaves said. “Providing competitive opportunities among certified launch service providers will contribute greatly to a more robust, and affordable, assured access to space launch capability.” In July, the Air Force certified the company for some “lower risk” launches to help SpaceX personnel get acclimated to Mission Assured Access requirements and to prepare the company to eventually compete for national security launches. USAF, on July 16, asked industry to bid on National Security Space mission slated to launch in 2016.
As the U.S. continues to pursue a diplomatic resolution with Russia over its troop buildup on the Ukraine border, the Defense Department is looking into what capabilities it will need to reassure NATO allies if Russia does launch an invasion, its top spokesperson said Jan. 21.