Space Systems Command’s (SSC) Assured Access to Space (AATS) directorate signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Blue Origin at Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo, California
This event marks the restart of certification activities for Blue Origin’s New Glenn that began in 2018 when Blue Origin won a Launch Service Agreement. SSC terminated Blue Origin’s LSA in December 2020 after the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 winners were announced.
Assured Access to Space acquires and executes launch services for the U.S. Space Force, National Reconnaissance Office, and other agencies to reliably deliver on-orbit capabilities to the warfighter. AATS also conducts range operations at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, and Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, for DoD test missions and for military, intelligence, civil, and commercial launches. AATS is executing transformative range and spaceport initiatives to meet unprecedented launch demands. AATS also leverages industry’s on-orbit servicing, maneuver, and debris removal innovations as it leads USSF Space Access, Mobility and Logistics mission areas.
A CRADA is a formal written agreement between one or more Federal laboratories and one or more non-Federal parties to allow for technology or data transfer at no cost to the government. Under this CRADA, Blue Origin must successfully complete certification flights and provide design and qualification data to enable AATS to conduct its independent verification and validation process.
“This agreement paves the way for Blue Origin to compete for the next NSSL launch service competition and is an example of how we foster competition and leverage industry innovation,” said Brig. Gen. Stephen Purdy. “I look forward to Blue Origin completing New Glenn development and competing for the opportunity to win NSSL launch services. More competitors in the National Security Space arena will help us meet an important national defense imperative to field advanced capabilities in space and get capabilities into the hands of our warfighters faster.”
“Blue Origin is proud to partner with the Space Force on our journey to become a fully certified National Security Space Launch provider,” said Jarrett Jones, senior vice president, New Glenn, Blue Origin. “We are excited to formally begin executing the flight worthiness certification processes which will enable the Space Force to maintain assured access to space and achieve 100% mission success with the New Glenn launch system.”