The U.S. Air Force could award a new set of Launch Service Agreements sometime during August, one month later than scheduled, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.
The military service aims to select two domestic commercial launch service providers that can cover national security missions and send heavy and complex payloads to space.
Northrop Grumman‘s innovation systems sector — then called Orbital ATK — SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and Aerojet Rocketdyne have developed rocket engine prototypes for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle system during the LSA program’s early phase.
LSA serves as a way for other commercial launch service providers to work with the Air Force after Congress ordered the service branch to stop using the Russian RD-180 first stage in ULA's Atlas 5 launch vehicle by 2022.
In the same year, Aerojet Rocketdyne and ULA were awarded separate OTAs worth up to $161.9 million combined.