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Space Force Seeks Prototype Proposals for Orbital Transfer, Rocket Engine Testing Capabilities

The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center has issued requests for prototype proposals for upper-stage resiliency improvements, next-generation rocket engine testing and orbital transfer and maneuver capabilities, SpaceRef reported Tuesday.

SMC’s Launch Enterprise will support the space technology projects through other transaction agreements managed by the Space Enterprise Consortium, which was formed in 2017 to facilitate partnerships between industry, Department of Defense space community and academia.

Col. Rob Bongiovi, director of SMC’s Launch Enterprise, said the RPPs mark the start of the third phase of the National Security Space Launch strategy to “accelerate development of transformational space access capabilities and make them available for future NSSL procurement contracts.”

Bongiovi said SMC plans to award the OTAs for upper stage resiliency and next-gen rocket engine testing by September and OTAs for orbital transfer and maneuver capabilities in early 2022.

“These NSSL efforts are a key part of a really exciting year for SpEC. Over the next twelve months, we expect to release 11 projects with a cumulative value exceeding $1.5 billion,” said Col. Tim Sejba, program executive officer for SMC’s space development.

Upper-stage resiliency and next-gen rocket engine testing proposals are due June 10. Bids for the orbital transfer and maneuver project will be accepted through July 23.

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