Space Force solicits bids for rocket engine testing and space transportation technologies



The projects will be co-financed by the government and contractors under “authorization of other transactions” agreements managed by the Space Enterprise Consortium.

WASHINGTON – The US Space Force released on May 11 three industry requests for proposals on the technologies the military will need to reach space and operate spacecraft in orbit.

The Space and Missile Systems Center launch company is looking for proposals for next-generation rocket engine testing, launcher top-stage improvements and maneuvering capabilities in space. Proposals must be submitted by June 10.

The projects will be co-financed by the government and contractors under “other transaction powers” ​​agreements managed by the SMC Space Enterprises Consortium (SpEC).

“SMC intends to partner with industry to invest in next-generation rocket engine testing, upper stage resiliency improvements, and orbital transfer and maneuver capabilities,” said on 11 May Colonel Rob Bongiovi, director of the SMC launch company.

Bongiovi said the projects will provide technology for the next phase of the national security space launch program. Last year, the Space Force selected United Launch Alliance and SpaceX as the launch providers for the next five years as part of Phase 2 of NSSL. SMC wants to start pushing the development of next-generation space transportation technologies for Phase 3.

The plan is “to accelerate the development of transformational space access capabilities and make them available for future NSSL supply contracts,” Bongiovi said. “We look forward to working with SpEC to maximize flexibility and acquisition speed to award next-generation rocket engine testing and top-stage resiliency improvements by September 2021 and capabilities. transfer and orbital maneuver in early 2022.

Colonel Tim Sejba, executive director of the SMC program for space development, said it was the first of many projects to be overseen by SpEC. “Over the next 12 months, we plan to launch 11 projects with a cumulative value exceeding $ 1.5 billion,” Sejba said.

SpEC was created by the French Air Force in 2017 to attract startups and commercial companies in the space industry to bid on military projects. More than 500 member companies are vying for contracts for the development of prototypes co-financed by the government and contractors. Other OTA transaction authority agreements) evolve faster than traditional government contracts and require established defense contractors to partner with startups and commercial vendors.


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