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Air Force checks for maturity of small launch vehicles

The Air Force’s Space and Mission Systems Center is surveying the market about the technical maturity of potential Expendable Small Launch Vehicles (ESLV) systems and components.

The Air Force is interested in industry’s ESLV inputs from an integrated technical risk assessment and business case potential. The department has yet to find past ESLVs that are technically and commercially viable solutions.

The department is narrowing its research to ESLVs currently not supporting Defense Department’s or NASA’s operational launch services and are not funded for full-scale development. However, officials are still interested in vehicles that have been flown and tested but not operationalized.

For its survey, the Air Force is asking, among other details, about their ESLV’s payload performance, technical configuration, concept for operations, and its current technology readiness levels.

The Air Force released the request for information Dec. 3. Responses are due by Dec. 24.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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