The US Department of Defense has selected two trusted companies based on their performance in the previous years for getting satellites into orbit in the years ahead. The companies selected for this project are the United Launch Alliance (ULA) and SpaceX. These two companies will share the amount of work required for putting a satellite in the outer atmosphere which provides data based on the analysis. ULA is a long-time military launch provider that will receive 60 percent of the contract and SpaceX will receive the remaining 40 percent of the contract. These two companies have provided a considerable result that made to beat out rivals Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin from the mission to launch the rocket to achieve the mission.
This is seen as a massive project that is provided to the big players in the space and aeronautics. Each company might cause them more than $ 100 million dollars for achieving the primary stage of the project. The DoD hasn’t yet made any official figures required for launching the satellite into the outer orbit. To kick start the project DoD has awarded d $316 million to SpaceX and $337 million to ULA. DoD has also directed the companies to prepare for the launch during the fiscal year 2022.
During of the recent press release that happened recently Col. Robert Bongiovi, director of the Space and Missile Systems Center Launch Enterprise said that “This was an extremely tough decision and I appreciate the hard work industry completed to adapt their commercial launch systems to affordably and reliably meet our more stressing national security requirements,”. ULA was using Russain technology in their Atlas V rocket earlier. Soon after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 this agreement has seen many political changes that increased the cost of the project. Rockets developed by ULA were using the Russian RD-180 engine to deliver the power to take satellites to space. After this tragedy that happened in recent years, ULA has reduced its contract with the Russian space companies.
To encourage the space mission program the US government has provided combined $2 billion in contracts to develop next-generation rockets for the three companies. The three companies received this amount are ULA, Northrop Grumman, and Blue Origin. This award has triggered SpaceX and they expressed their unhappiness by suing the government over the contract in 2019. The company has also argued over several other topics for providing upfront for its competitors. SpaceX has invested more than a billion dollars in its research and development projects to invent cost-efficient engines that could deliver massive power. After failing many unsuccessful attempts SpaceX has finally succeeded early this year.
SpaceX has proved by testing a prototype of its next-generation, deep-space rocket that held in south Texas. This project was to send the vehicle up to 500 feet and then landing it back down on Earth. This initial testing of the prototype was carried out soon after the successful attempt of returning its first astronauts back to Earth. This attempt was tested using the single giant rocket booster Raptor engine. The company has already revealed that their final project will have six similar giant rocket booster Raptor engines. This prototype is far away from the final version of the rocket which will have many advanced features that are currently in the development phase. This success marks a big turning point for SpaceX where it suffered during its previous attempts.