US space force purchased eight rocket launches for military missions, two of which will occur from the West Coast.
The recent announcement said Space Systems Command ordered all eight missions as part of the second phase of procurement of the National Security Space Launch program.
Five missions were entrusted to United Launch Alliancewith everyone slated to take off from the East Coast aboard the Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle.
The mission assignment represents the critical role the Space Force plays in bringing vital space capability into orbit to deal with emerging threats, according to Brig. General Stephen Purdy, Executive Director of the Assured Access to Space Program.
“Now, more than ever, we must do everything in our power to ensure the success of every launch in the national security space; it’s the best way to stay ahead of our adversaries at short notice. term,” Purdy said. “We are launching the nation’s ‘eyes and ears’, secure communications, GPS and space awareness that provide our national warfighters and decision makers with the vital information they need to protect our nation and our allies.”
Missions will take place over the next two years, the military said.
The USSF-62 mission, which will launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, will include the first Weather System Follow-on (WSF) satellite.
The Space Development Agency, or SDA-Tranche 1, mission planned for Vandenberg’s Falcon 9 will actually be one of six to be launched for the creation of the Tranche 1 Transport Layer, a network of 126 interconnected satellites. optically designed to provide a resilient, low latency, high volume data transport communications system for the military.
“We are working closely with our launch service providers and mission partners to ensure the launch capability exists to get our critical payloads into orbit on time and without failure,” said Col. Chad Melone, chief of the Launch Supply and Integration Division. “ULA and SpaceX have very capable launch systems, and we are confident that they will meet our needs for the eight missions we have ordered today.”
Space Systems Command, headquartered at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, is responsible for the rapid development, acquisition, equipping, fielding and sustaining of space capabilities.