The United States Air Force stated that it's investing more into space launches to maintain the country's existing advantage in space development.
"These awards are central to the Air Force goal of two domestic, commercially viable launch providers that meet National Security Space requirements", said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, the Air Force's Program Executive Officer for Space and SMC commander, in a release.
The Air Force previous year released a request for proposal for its next iteration of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, known as EELV, to be used on space lift such as the Atlas V, Delta IV and Falcon 9 rocket systems.
Northrop Grumman has a long history of launching critical payloads for the Department of Defense, NASA and other customers with the company's Pegasus®, Minotaur and AntaresTM launch vehicles as well as a wide array of strategic missile interceptors and targets in support of critical national security launch programs.
United Launch Alliance Through 2024, ULA will receive $967 million to develop its upcoming rocket called the Vulcan, also known as the Vulcan Centaur. The EELV program has successfully launched 72 NSS missions, dating back to 2003, using the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles.
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Hajiyeva has denied any wrongdoing and is working to overturn the two Unexplained Wealth Orders, the AP reported . Lawyers for Mrs Hajieyva told the High Court that she and her husband are suffering a massive injustice.
The contracts went to the United Launch Alliance (ULA), the joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin.
The U.S. Air Force is putting its money in three rockets. New Glenn is expected to reach initial launch capability in 2020.
Blue Origin won a $500 million contract to help develop its New Glenn booster, a rocket with a fully reusable first stage powered by seven BE-4 engines burning liquefied natural gas.
Blue Origin said in a statement following yesterday's announcement that it will build a launch site at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, although it did not say what rockets would launch from the site. SpaceX recently announced plans to launch a Japanese billionaire and a half-dozen artists on a flight around the moon.