The Air Force is assertive on private space firms to design rockets that can lift intelligence agency and military satellites into orbit. In spite of latest reports of cutbacks at launch companies, the vice commander of the AFSPC (Air Force Space Command) stated the military is positive that the profitable space industry would succeed. Lt. General David Thompson asserted the U.S. is on the verge to prosper in commercial space, though the condition of the industry is “constantly a little bit of a worry,” he stated to media. A few years ago, the Air Force decided that it will no longer construct its own rockets and would instead competitively obtain launch services from private vendors.
Executives recognized that the success of this approach is mostly dependent on market conditions and whether there would be a minimum of two strong monetarily healthy firms to contend for national security launches. Thompson said, “We have firms with some incredible ideas who have developed to some level or are seeking to advance in the future. We are analyzing that turn from idea to model to capability.” The AFSPC will be closely tracking the advancement of three cost-sharing research and development bids awarded in October to Blue Origin, United Launch Alliance, and Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. These three firms collectively earned $2.3 Billion during Air Force’s funding to ensure their nationally produced profitable rockets can meet national security launch standards. Presently, only SpaceX and ULA rockets are approved to carry national payloads. Both the firms compete under the EELV (Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle) program. Reportedly, the EELV program has being renamed NSS (National Security Space) launch program.
Recently, SpaceX was in news for revealing possible launch fate for next Falcon Heavy rocket. After the provisional suspension in the U.S. administration shut down, SpaceX has filed for two FCC (Federal Communications Commission) licenses it requires for its next Falcon Heavy flight. In its filling SpaceX, revealed an uncertain second launch date for the biggest modern rocket globally. SpaceX states it is planning for no sooner than March 7, 2019, for the launch in Florida.