The U.S. Space Force’s Small Launch and Targets Division’s Office at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico, part of the Space Systems Command (SSC) Assured Access to Space organization, awarded a $11.5 million Task Order to Astra Space, Inc. of Alameda, California, for the Space Test Program (STP)-S29B launch service. This is the fifth Task Order under the Orbital Services Program-4 (OSP-4) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract.
This award follows the $29.9 million STP-S29A Task Order that was awarded in September of 2022 to Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation. STP-S29B is a complex mission that will conduct scientific experiments and technology demonstrations with the goal of advancing DoD’s space capabilities. Astra Space, Inc. will use their Rocket 4 to deliver the mission manifest to LEO. STP-S29B has an Initial Launch Capability (ILC) set for April of 2025.
The STP-S29B mission will provide orbital launch services for the DoD STP. The DoD STP furthers the maturation of space-based warfighter technologies across the DoD enterprise by providing space access solutions for all research and development-related DoD auxiliary payloads on DoD, civil and commercial launches and for all non-DoD auxiliary payloads seeking launch opportunities on DoD missions.
STP works closely with the DoD Space Experiments Review Board, a multi-service group responsible for evaluating and approving DoD sponsored experiments to be conducted on DoD space missions. The manifest for the STP-S29B mission may also comprise Rideshare experiments.
OSP-4 allows for the rapid, competitive acquisition of launch services to meet mission requirements enabling launch within 12-24 months from Task Order award. OSP-4 also allows for periodic on-ramps throughout the ordering period to ensure emerging, innovative launch providers can compete for future missions.
“This second competitive award is an important part of the STP-S29 mission set. Together, these two launches deliver the right balance of proven capabilities and openness to industry’s innovation. In today’s contested space domain, contracts must be flexible and responsive to meet the challenges facing the warfighter.” — Lt. Col. Justin Beltz, chief of the Small Launch and Targets Division
Space Systems Command is the U.S. Space Force’s field command responsible for acquiring and delivering resilient war fighting capabilities to protect our nation’s strategic advantage in and from space. SSC manages an $11 billion space acquisition budget for the Department of Defense and works in partnership with joint forces, industry, government agencies, academic and allied organizations to accelerate innovation and outpace emerging threats. Our actions today are making the world a better space for tomorrow.