Oct 15 2015

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No waiver for you!!

No Waiver for ULA for GPS III Launch Contract. ULA is arguing that without the waiver, they’ll likely not be able to bid on the contract, which would leave SpaceX as the only certified launcher left, which would violate DoD policy to have at least two viable launch options at any one time.

However, the policy actually reads: “to the maximum extent practicable, the availability of at least two U.S. space transportation vehicle families capable of reliably launching national security payloads.”

I’d say giving ULA over 5 years heads-up that they’ll have an engine supply issue satisfies the “to the maximum extent practicable” clause.

Expect ULA to dump a ton of money into Blue Origin so that their BE-4 rocket engine (the one that’s supposed to replace the Russian RD-180) is ready for operations by 2019. Necessity breeds invention, or as I say: “When there’s a will, there’s a way. I have the will, so I’ll find a way.”

ULA will find a way to have American engines in their rockets come hell or high water, I guarantee you. Kudos to Congress for sticking to their guns. There’s pain and risk now, but in the long run the American Space industry, and ULA, will be the better for it.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t embed the classic Seinfeld routine:


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