USAF/SpaceX Agreement Prelude To Launch Certification Plan

By Guy Norris
Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

The initial EELV-class mission is Dscovr (Deep Space Climate Observatory), awarded in 2012 under the Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 (OSP-3), a contract for the U.S. Air Force Rocket Systems Launch Program. For the Dscovr mission, scheduled for late 2014, a Falcon 9 will be used to launch an Earth and space weather satellite to the Sun-Earth Lagrange point L1, a location about 930,000 mi. from Earth.

The Dscovr program, which will provide warning of space weather events, is a joint effort between the Air Force, NASA and NOAA.

The Air Force adds that once this evaluation is complete and “at least three certification flights” have been satisfactorily monitored, “the SMC commander will make the final determination whether SpaceX has the capability to successfully launch NSS missions using the Falcon 9 v1.1.”

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