Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket wins Air Force contract

Blue Origin wins $500-million Air Force contract for development of New Glenn rocket

Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, formerly Orbital ATK Inc., was awarded $792 million and will manufacture its OmegA Launch System.

"These awards are a leap forward in space launch capabilities, ensuring continued USA dominance in space", said Dr. William Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.

United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, won a $967 million contract to develop its Vulcan Centaur rocket, a powerful launcher that will replace the company's venerable Delta 4 and Atlas 5 boosters.

The U.S. Air Force announced on Wednesday it is awarding three contracts collectively worth about $2 billion to Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems and United Launch Alliance to develop launch system prototypes.

The Air Force past year released a request for proposal for its next iteration of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, known as EELV, to be used on space lift such as the Atlas V, Delta IV and Falcon 9 rocket systems.

Khashoggi 'hit squad' included a forensics expert and a former diplomat
Khashoggi is a Washington Post columnist and former general manager and editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel. Saudi Arabia is also unhappy about Ankara's growing proximity to the kingdom's Shiite rival, Iran.

The United States Air Force stated that it's investing more into space launches to maintain the country's existing advantage in space development.

Blue Origin's and Northrop's prototype vehicles for military launches are expected to be ready to fly by late 2024 and ULA's Vulcan rocket development should be completed by March 2025.

The company also offers a heavy lift three-core Falcon Heavy and is developing a huge new rocket known as the BFR to eventually carry passengers to the moon and Mars. Design work on the vehicle began in 2012. New Glenn is described as a 7-meter-diameter (23 ft), two- or three-stage rocket.

Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket, central to the company's ambitions to reach the moon, will ferry defense payloads into space for the Air Force. This does not mean the company will not be able to launch satellites for the Department of Defense (DOD), though. "Our new OmegA rocket leverages technologies, capabilities and flight experience gained from decades of successful rocket launches, making it an affordable and reliable choice for national security missions".

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