The US Air Force announced two Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) launch service contracts. SpaceX has been awarded a $290,594,130 firm-fixed-price contract, for launch services to deliver three GPS III missions (1 base and 2 options) to the intended orbit. United Launch Alliance (ULA) has been awarded a $351,839,510 firm-fixed-price contract, for launch services to deliver Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-8 and AFSPC-12 satellites to the intended orbit.
The three GPS III missions will deliver sustained, reliable GPS capabilities to America’s warfighters, our allies, and civil users. GPS provides positioning, navigation, and timing service to civil and military users worldwide. The GPS III missions are planned to launch between late 2019 and 2020.
The AFSPC-8 mission comprises two identical Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites, known as GSSAP 5 & 6. AFSPC-8 is planned to launch in 2020 into a geosynchronous orbit.
The AFSPC-12 mission comprises a forward space vehicle (SV) and an aft SV. The forward SV is known as the Wide Field of View (WFOV) Testbed and the aft SV is a propulsive Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) that hosts auxiliary payloads. AFSPC-12 is planned to launch in 2020 into a geosynchronous orbit.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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