The Space Force is giving a nearly even share of 21 upcoming national security launches between SpaceX and United Launch Alliance.
Space Systems Command, which manages a $15 billion budget for the Department of Defense to ensure U.S. strategic advantage in space, announced ULA will provide 11 missions on its new Vulcan Centaur rocket while SpaceX will be responsible for 10 missions on its Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy rockets as part of the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 Launch Service Procurement contract for fiscal year 2024, which began on Oct. 1.
This is the fifth and final year of the NSSL Phase 2 contract, and will be for missions flown over the next two to three years. The majority of launches will come from ULA and SpaceX's launch facilities at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, although Falcon Heavy launches if required are limited to Kennedy Space Center, and both ULA and SpaceX can launch from Vandenburg Space Force Base in California.
“Over the five-year Phase 2 contract, we will have ordered a total of 48 missions, a significant increase over the 34 missions originally estimated leading up to Phase 2,” said Brig. Gen. Kristin Panzenhagen in a press release. She heads the Space Force's Assured Access to Space program within Space Systems Command.
Panzenhagen is also the head of Space Launch Delta 45 based at Patrick Space Force Base and overseas the Eastern Range having taken over from Maj….