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USSF awards OSP-4 contract to emerging Small Launch providers

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- The U.S. Space Force’s Rocket Systems Launch Program Office, part of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, announced the award of the first on ramp of the Orbital Services Program (OSP)-4 Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract Aug. 9, 2021, to ABL Space Systems Corp, Astra Space, Inc., and Relativity Space, Inc.

OSP-4 allows for the rapid acquisition of launch services to meet mission requirements for payloads greater than 400 pounds, enabling launch to any orbit within 12-24 months from task order award.  The RSLP will compete each mission among the IDIQ awardees. The addition of these emerging providers’ preserves, stimulates, and enhances the small launch industrial base and yields the Space Force a diverse vendor pool in support of the nation’s defense. 

“This program utilizes a low-barrier-to-entry to mature launch providers and those emerging companies that are approximately one year from being launch capable,” said Lt. Col. Justin Beltz, chief of Launch Enterprise’s Small Launch and Targets division. “We use this IDIQ contract to continue to introduce speed, agility, and flexibility into the launch enterprise and continue to cultivate a resilient and affordable launch market.”

The SMC Launch Enterprise initially awarded the OSP-4 contract in October 2019, to Aevum, Firefly Black, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, Rocket Lab USA, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), United Launch Alliance, VOX Space, and X-Bow Launch Systems. This on ramp will add additional emerging launch providers to the group eligible to compete for future USSF OSP-4 Task Order awards.

The U.S. Space Force previously awarded two missions on OSP-4 with the Space Test Program (STP)-S28 mission to VOX Space and Tactically Responsive Launch(TacRL)-2 mission to Northrop Grumman, and expects to procure approximately 20 missions over the nine-year ordering period.  The Launch Enterprise projects awarding the next task order supporting the Space Test Program’s USSF-46S mission later this summer.

The Space and Missile Systems Center is the U.S. Space Force's Center of Excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems.  SMC’s portfolio includes space launch, global positioning, military space vehicle communications, defense meteorological space vehicles, range systems, space vehicle control networks, space-based infrared systems, and space domain awareness capabilities.