Air Force opens launch opportunities

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Commercial rocket companies will be able to compete for future launch services for the U.S. Air Force.

The Air Force has published a guide that will assist commercial companies in competing for the contracts. The document lays out the approach the Air Force will use to certify commercial launch companies for the Department of Defense National Security Space missions.

Release of the guide follows approval of a new entrant certification strategy form the federal government, outlining government agency requirements to have commercial companies launch satellites for government missions.

Using the guide will allow the Air Force to balance the cost and mission. It is seeking to identify missions that could be made available for new entrants to compete for higher-risk, higher security missions.

The Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles will hold an industry day to discuss the guide and new certification proposals with companies. For more information, go to