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Orbital ATK proposes NGL rocket for Air Force's cost-share launch services contracts

Orbital ATK proposes NGL rocket for Air Force's cost-share launch services contracts - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Orbital ATK proposes NGL rocket for Air Force's cost-share launch services contracts - top government contractors - best government contracting eventOrbital ATK has proposed its Next Generation Launch system to the U.S. Air Force in a bid to win one of the Launch Services Agreements the service branch plans to award by summer, Spaceflight Now reported Thursday.

The agreement will implement a cost-sharing structure for rocket development efforts and intends to provide the military with U.S.-built propulsion systems and multiple launch options for national security satellites by the 2020s.

Orbital ATK's NGL rocket would come in intermediate and heavy configurations that would be equipped each with a cryogenic upper stage engine that runs on hydrogen and Castor 300 single-segment, second-stage motor that will be built and tested at the firm's Promontory, Utah-based facility.

Mike Laidley, vice president of the NGL program at Orbital ATK, said the company plans to perform static fire tests of Castor 300 and Castor 600 two-segment first stage in 2019.

The intermediate NGL configuration is designed to carry up to 22,300 pounds of payloads into geostationary orbit, while the heavy rocket version is designed to bring into orbit up to 17,200 pounds of payload.

“We're not planning any reusability in this vehicle,“ Laidley said.

Other companies that are expected to compete for the cost-sharing agreements include SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin.

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Written by Jane Edwards

is a staff writer at Executive Mosaic, where she writes for ExecutiveBiz about IT modernization, cybersecurity, space procurement and industry leaders’ perspectives on government technology trends.

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