EELV's Era of Transition

After two years of transition, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program entered a new era with the late January announcement that the US Air Force and United Launch Alliance (ULA) have concluded negotiations on a contract for 36 rocket cores as part of change in the program that began in 2011. Based on the results, it looks very much like the old era. Yet, since 2011 much has transpired.

With the announcement of the New Entrants Certification guide in October 2011, the Department of Defense set the stage for changes to take place in its flagship launch program, but both the degree and pace of the changes were not clear. Two years later what is coming into view is a program that is very much in transition. The program has been buffeted by domestic changes brought on primarily by SpaceX, even as an increasingly difficult budget environment and a new threat assessment regarding anti-satellite capabilities are changing the underlying hyper-expensive, large satellite bias that served as the justification for the program in the first place.

- Full story at The Space Review.

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