Blue Origin will compete for the next tender to launch the NSSL service

US Space Systems Command (SSC) Assured Access to Space (AATS) has embarked on joint R&D the agreement (CRADA) with Blue Origin.

The formal agreement was made during a private ceremony held at SSC Headquarters, Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo, Calif., on November 18.

It was signed between AATS Program Executive Director and SSC Space Operations Director Brigadier General Steven Purdy Jr. and Blue Origin New Glenn Senior Vice President Jarrett Jones.

The new signing marks the start of certification activities for New Glenn that began in 2018 when Blue Origin entered into an initial Launch Services Agreement (LSA).

In 2020, the US SSC terminated LSA with Blue Origin after the winners of Phase 2 of the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) were announced.

Purdy said: “This agreement paves the way for Blue Origin to enter the next competition to launch NSSL services and is an example of how we are fostering competition and leveraging innovation in the industry.

“More competitors in the national security space arena will help us fulfill the important national defense imperative to deploy advanced capabilities in space and get capabilities into the hands of our warfighters faster.”

As part of the recently signed deal, Blue Origin is to complete certification flights of its New Glenn heavy launch vehicle.

The company must also provide the relevant design and qualification data to AATS for the independent inspection and validation process.

The spaceport and transformation range initiatives will help AATS meet unprecedented launch requirements.

Jones said, “We are excited to officially begin the airworthiness certification processes that will allow the Space Force to maintain secure access to space and achieve 100% mission success with the New Glenn launch system.” Blue Origin will compete for the next tender to launch the NSSL service

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