Los Angeles Air Force Base   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > SMC Enters into Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with SpaceX
Story at a Glance
 SMC has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with SpaceX to certify its Falcon 9 v1.1 Launch System for NSS missions
 The CRADA will be in effect until all certification activities are complete
 SMC anticipates entering into additional CRADAs with SpaceX to evaluate its Falcon Heavy rocket and with Orbital Sciences for its Antares launch vehicle
 Certification does not guarantee a contract award, enables companies to compete
 
Photos
Previous ImageNext Image
CRADA signing
Lieutenant General Ellen Pawlikowski, SMC commander, and Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to certify the Falcon 9 v1.1 Launch System for National Security Space missions at a ceremony, June 7. The CRADA will be in effect until all certification activities are complete. While certification does not guarantee a contract award, it does enable a company to compete for launch contracts. (Photo by Joe Juarez)
Download HiRes
SMC Enters into Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with SpaceX

Posted 6/11/2013   Updated 6/11/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Alicia Garges
SMC Public Affairs


6/11/2013 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Space and Missile Systems Center has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, as part of the company's effort to certify its Falcon 9 v1.1 Launch System for National Security Space (NSS) missions. This cooperative agreement facilitates data exchanges and protects proprietary and export-controlled data. The CRADA will be in effect until all certification activities are complete.

A CRADA enables the Air Force to evaluate the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch system according to the Air Force's New Entrant Certification Guide (NECG). As part of the evaluation, SMC and SpaceX will look at the Falcon 9 v1.1's flight history, vehicle design, reliability, process maturity, safety systems, manufacturing and operations, systems engineering, risk management and launch facilities. SMC will monitor at least three certification flights to meet the flight history requirements outlined in the NECG. Once the evaluation process is complete, the SMC commander will make the final determination whether SpaceX has the capability to successfully launch NSS missions using the Falcon 9 v1.1.

SMC anticipates entering into additional CRADAs with SpaceX to evaluate its Falcon Heavy rocket and with Orbital Sciences for its Antares launch vehicle.

"Certifying Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle's for new entrants is in keeping with the Air Force strategic intent to promote the viability of multiple domestic EELV-class launch providers as soon as feasible," said Col. William Hodgkiss, Launch Systems director.

Currently, United Launch Alliance's Delta IV and Atlas V are the only certified launch vehicles capable of lifting NSS payloads into orbit. The addition of multiple certified launch vehicle providers bolsters assured access to space by providing more options for the warfighter to place needed capabilities on orbit. While certification does not guarantee a contract award, it does enable a company to compete for launch contracts. Those contracts could be awarded as early as Fiscal Year 2015 with launch services
provided as early as Fiscal Year 2017.

Media representatives who would like to interview a subject matter expert or learn more about the CRADA should send an e-mail to: smcpa.media@us.af.mil



tabComments
No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside LA AFB

ima cornerSearch


Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     USA.gov     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention      Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention     FOIA     IG   EEO