Congress: ‘One Launcher Only’
A report released at our deadline by the House Appropriations Committee challenges the government to choose just one U.S. company to service federal launch contracts, partly due to financial considerations and partly due to reliability concerns. Such a decision could either make or break Boeing or Lockheed Martin, the two service providers of choice.
Some $5 billion worth of government-funded launches are scheduled between now and 2010, and the committee just approved $416 billion for defense for the next fiscal year. While defense proponents are trying to maintain relationships with both companies in the name of competition, House members are adamant in their concern that “maintaining two ‘standing armies’ without adequate funding, the government could hurt launch reliability.