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John Thompson

Lt. Gen. John Thompson: Space Force Plans Launch Service Phase 2 Contract Awards This Summer

Lt. Gen. John “JT” Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, said the U.S. Space Force is on schedule to award this summer contracts to two launch service providers under the second phase of the National Security Space Launch program, Via Satellite reported Thursday.

The service issued a solicitation for NSSL Phase 2 in May 2019 and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin submitted their bids. The four companies are competing for the two contracts to perform up to 25 national security missions through fiscal 2027.

Thompson said Wednesday at a Mitchell Institute webinar the service has kicked off an architecture study in preparation for the NSSL program’s third phase, which seeks to begin launches in fiscal 2028.

“We hope to have that architecture study inform us about what those requirements in Phase 3 could look like,” he said. “And then if there’s an opportunity to start developing against some of those requirements earlier in the process, during the execution of Phase 2, then I think we’re very amenable to that."

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