SpaceX Protests U.S. Air Force, Orbital Contract
[Satellite TODAY 11-17-09] SpaceX filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Oct. 26 over a missile hardware order the U.S. Air Force placed with Orbital Sciences Corp. on Sept. 14, the GAO confirmed Nov. 16.
The order was to provide hardware in order to launch NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) in May 2012 aboard a Minotaur 5 rocket. In the protest, SpaceX claims its Falcon 1e or Falcon 9 rocket would have provided cost savings to the government and that the military neglected to contact SpaceX or investigate whether the company could meet the mission’s requirements.
SpaceX also claims that Orbital’s contract award violates the U.S. Commercial Space Act of 1998, which requires the U.S. government to buy launch services from U.S. commercial providers whenever possible.
The GAO has 90 days to review the protest.
GAO Report: U.S. Military Space Systems Not Optimally Aligned Satellite Today November 3, 2009
[Satellite TODAY 11-03-09] Satellites, ground control systems, and user terminals in most of the U.S. Military’s major space system acquisitions are not optimally aligned, leading to underutilized satellites and limited capability provided to the…
GAO Reveals Major Broadband Stimulus Issues at NTIA, RUS Satellite Today October 29, 2009
[Satellite TODAY 10-29-09] The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Rural Utilities Service (RUS) are considering reducing the number of broadband stimulus funding rounds from three to two, according…
Falcon 9 Heads to Cape Canaveral Following Static Testing Satellite Today October 22, 2009
[Satellite TODAY 10-22-09] SpaceX conducted two static first-stage firings of the nine-engine, liquid-fueled Merlin cluster for its Falcon 9 launch vehicle, the company announced Oct. 22.