A SpaceX Falcon 9 stands ready for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The Air Force awarded a second contract for GPS III Launch Services to SpaceX.
SpaceX has won a second contract from the U.S. Air Force for launch services to deliver a GPS III satellite to its intended orbit.
SpaceX was awarded the $96,500,490 firm-fixed-price contract over the United Launch Alliance. ULA — a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security — did not compete for the first GPS III launch contract. That contract, for $82.7 million, is expected to orbit a GPS satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket in May 2018.
According to the contract announcement, SpaceX will provide launch vehicle production, mission integration, launch operations, spaceflight worthiness and mission unique activities for a GPS III mission. The contract is being overseen by the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.
Work will be performed at Hawthorne, California; Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida; and McGregor, Texas, and is expected to be complete by April 30, 2019.
“The competitive award of the GPS III Launch Services contract to SpaceX directly supports SMC’s mission of delivering resilient and affordable space capabilities to our nation,” said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, leader of SMC.