Home >> News: August 11th, 2019 >> Story
Satnews Daily
August 11th, 2019

Vector's First is Small ... a USAF Launch Contract for Small Launch Tasking

In mid-December of 2018, an RFI was issued by the U.S. Air Force Space Command through the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate (LE), Experimental Launch and Test Division (LEX), Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP), at Kirtland Air Force Base, regarding the SRP-O ASLON-45 mission and the ASLON-45 Mission Requirement Document (MRD) for small launch tasking.  

According to the RFI, the ASLON-45 Space Vehicle (SV) manifest will consist of multiple 3U and larger U.S. Government cubesats to LEO at a 45 degree inclination, with all payload capacity reserved for Government use.  The Launch Service Contractor (LSC) will provide all required dispensers and perform all required payload integration and launch operations.  ASLON will be a Mission Assurance (MA) Category 1 launch service, procured via C-Type, Firm-Fixed Price SRP-O contract.

The final contract has now been awarded to Vector, based in Huntsville, Alabama, a small launch provider that will find the firm responsible for launching experimental satellites to LEO. This is the first USAF mission for the firm — the initial ASLON-45 mission is planned for Q3 of 2021 from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.