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Space Force Taps Blue Origin, Stoke Space to Join Orbital Launch Service Contract

Small satellite mission

Space Force Taps Blue Origin, Stoke Space to Join Orbital Launch Service Contract

Blue Origin and Stoke Space Technologies are the latest vendors to join the 10 other space companies competing for tasks under a U.S. Space Force small satellite mission program.

The announcement comes after Blue Origin received a contract to provide its New Glenn rocket as part of the National Security Space Launch Phase 3 Lane 1 procurement. Stoke Space also recently completed the first hot-fire test of its reusable rocket engine.

Under the Orbital Services Program-4 contract, the service branch has gathered several contractors to bid on short-turnaround small satellite missions. The U.S. Air Force established the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract in 2019 to maximize the capabilities of commercial launch providers, providing the Space Force with an extensive capability to support all kinds of missions, SpaceNews reported.

In a statement on Wednesday, Lt. Col. Steve Hendershot said that the addition of the two new companies “preserves, stimulates, and enhances the small launch industrial base and yields the Space Force a diverse vendor pool to support the nation’s defense.”

The other contractors eligible to bid for task orders are Northrop Grumman, Rocket Lab and SpaceX.

In 2021, the Space Force disclosed the inaugural batch of eligible contractors to participate in the IDIQ orbital launch services contract. ABL Space Systems, Astra Space and Relativity Space were the first on-ramp awardees of OSP-4.

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Category: Space