Air Force Certifies Three SpaceX Launches

Image Credit SpaceX

Coming three days before a Monday, July 14 attempt to launch six small Orbcomm OG-2 satellites out of Cape Canaveral, SpaceX announced today that the Air Force has certified the Falcon 9 launch system “as having conducted three successful flights, a prerequisite for companies seeking to win business from the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Program.”

Somewhat ironically, the announcement comes a week after the Air Force requested a federal court throw out the SpaceX lawsuit over the Air Force/ United Launch Alliance block buy on the grounds that the company did not file a protest within the proper time frame. While today’s announcement will likely be added to the complaint filed by SpaceX, it may not have much bearing on the outcome unless the judge rules more widely than on the narrow grounds being suggested by the Air Force and and ULA.

Although the three launch certification is an absolute prerequisite for being awarded any EELV launches, there can be little doubt that nothing would be more helpful to the SpaceX cause than continuing the record of launch success which stands unbroken at nine, with five flights of the original Falcon 9, and four flights of the significantly upgraded Falcon 9 v 1.1 which is being offered to the Air Force under the EELV program.

SpaceX’s next attempt to launch the oft delayed Orbcomm OG-2 mission is scheduled for 9:21 am EDT on Monday, with a backup date on Wednesday.

Posted in: SpaceX

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