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Space Force Selects Launch Providers for NSSL Phase 3

Commercial launch


Space Force Selects Launch Providers for NSSL Phase 3

Blue Origin, SpaceX and United Launch Alliance will be participating in the U.S. Space Force’s effort to develop the National Security Space Launch initiative.

From 2025 to 2029, the three contractors will be competing for task orders valued at up to $5.6 billion under NSSL Phase 3, handling the government’s national security launches, which will include missions focused on GPS, surveillance and other classified missions.

ULA and SpaceX are major players in the space launch market, but Blue Origin is just entering the landscape, with its New Glenn rocket scheduled to carry a NASA mission in September, Air and Space Forces Magazine reported.

Frank Calvelli, assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration and a past Potomac Officers Club event speaker, said that Phase 3 of the NSSL ensures that the government maximizes the capabilities of the commercial sector, allowing rapid integration of newly available commercial solutions and benefiting launch programs.

In October, the military branch released initial information for the first lane of the NSSL, seeking contractors capable of providing “more risk-tolerant space vehicles” that would be launched into commercial orbits.

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Category: Space