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Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck Endorses Dual-Lane Approach to NSSL Phase 3 Acquisition

Launch providers

Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck Endorses Dual-Lane Approach to NSSL Phase 3 Acquisition

Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab USA, told SpaceNews in an interview that his company supported the two-track approach to the third phase of the National Security Space Launch program and said the resulting acquisition strategy is “what we were certainly promoting to occur.” 

Unlike Phase 2, solicitations for NSSL Phase 3 are expected to take a dual-lane approach to acquire launch services. According to two draft requests for proposals issued by Space Systems Command earlier in February, contracts awarded under lane 1 will involve what the Space Force described as “risk tolerant” missions aimed at lower orbits, while lane 2 will involve more demanding missions, SpaceNews reported.

Although the new approach is meant to give emerging players the chance to compete for launch opportunities, the Space Force will allow lane 2 providers to compete in lane 1, and Beck acknowledges that established companies like SpaceX could end up undercutting new entrants with aggressive pricing.

Nevertheless, Beck said he thinks the government would factor in the goal of expanding the number of launch providers, which would require making “some decisions not based only on price.”

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Category: Space

Tags: dual lane approach National Security Space Launch Peter Beck Rocket Lab space Space Systems Command SpaceNews