Space Force has Granted Blue Origin, Rocket Lab, SpaceX, and ULA $87.5 Million for Trials

6th Oct 2021
Space Force has Granted Blue Origin, Rocket Lab, SpaceX, and ULA $87.5 Million for Trials

The Space Systems Command of the United States Space Force announced $87.5 million in grants to fund prototype industry initiatives related to next-generation launcher development and improvements to upper stages resiliency.

The grants were issued through the National Security Space Launch program, which works with the Pentagon’s space community, business, and academics through the Space Development Corps’ Space Enterprise Consortium. The four bodies benefiting from the grant are Blue Origin, Rocket Lab, SpaceX, and ULA.

Grant DistributionBetween SpaceX, ULA, Rocket Lab, and Blue Origin

  • SpaceX received $14.47 million for accelerating the testing of their new rocket engine, which will be used to power Starship and other future endeavours. This money is going towards developing liquid methane specifications and conducting combustion stability analysis and tests.
  • Blue Origin has officially received funding for cryogenic fluid management on its New Glenn rocket’s second phase. The amount is $24.35 million.
  • Rocket Lab has been awarded $24.35 million to develop the upper stage, which will be used on Neutron rockets and provide additional thrust in orbit.
  • United Launch Alliance’s new contract will allow the company to receive $24.35 million for uplink control and command of their Centaur V upper stage, which they’ll use on ULA’s brand-new Vulcan rocket.

The Current Progress

The prototypes for orbital maneuver and transfer are expected to start in early 2022, waiting for the congressional budget endorsement. In a recent interview, Col. Rob Bongiovi, the director of SSC’s Launch Enterprise, expressed the partnership is to advance space access capabilities.

After successfully implementing the prototype projects, SSC continues to advance the National Security Space Launch plan’s in backing a Phase 3 procurement race scheduled for 2024. ULA and SpaceX received the contracts, worth millions, in Phase 2 last year.

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