An artist’s conception shows Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket on the rise. (Blue Origin Illustration)
The U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command today announced awards totaling $87.5 million to support prototype commercial projects relating to next-generation rocket testing and enhancements to make upper stages more resilient.
The awards were made under the aegis of the National Security Space Launch program using the Space Development Corps’ Space Enterprise Consortium, which facilitates engagement involving the Pentagon space community, industry and academia. The awards include:
$24.35 million to Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture for cryogenic fluid management on the New Glenn rocket’s second stage.
$24.35 million to Rocket Lab to develop the Neutron rocket’s upper stage.
$14.47 million to SpaceX for rapid throttling and restart testing of the Raptor rocket engine, which is destined for use on SpaceX’s Starship rocket, liquid methane specification development and testing; and combustion stability analysis and testing.
$24.35 million to United Launch Alliance for uplink command and control for the Centaur V upper stage, which will be used with ULA’s Vulcan rocket.
Prototype projects for orbital transfer and maneuver are anticipated in the early part of the 2022 fiscal year, pending congressional budget approval.
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