Mike Rokaw, vice president of operations at Virgin Orbit’s VOX Space subsidiary, said the parent company expects to submit bids for the U.S. Space Force’s future ‘tactically responsive launch’ contracts, which require launch providers to send satellites to orbit on short notice, SpaceNews reported Thursday.
“We think we bring to the table a good economic option for the government,” Rokaw said. “I think next time TacRL comes out, we’re competing.”
A request for proposals for TacRL-3 and TacRL-4 contracts is expected to be released in the next few months. Those contracts would give providers 18 days’ notice to prepare for the flight, which Rokaw said is within the company’s area of expertise.
Virgin Orbit offers LauncherOne, an air-launched rocket, and runs a factory in Long Beach, California, that can manufacture 20 rockets per year.
Rokaw said the company has one 747 carrier plane used to launch rockets but intends to add more aircraft once it sees a rise in business activity.
“When we get to 18 to 20 launches a year, we will have multiple planes to handle that bandwidth,” he added.