GovConJudicata Weekly Debrief (11/27–12/1)
This week's Weekly Debrief covers private space missions, Amazon's project Kuiper and Falcon 9, procurement commentary, Air Force's new $2.3B Boeing contract, and DARPA's Phase 2 awards for Space-BACN.
"With the search for extraterrestrial life set to define much of 21st-century space science, one burning question researchers face in their planning is this: How far away is the nearest Earth-like planet?"
"Amazon has signed a contract with SpaceX to launch an unspecified number of satellites for its Project Kuiper broadband constellation on three Falcon 9 rockets from mid-2025. The deal adds extra capacity to a multi-billion-dollar launch arrangement already in place for deploying most of the constellation’s more than 3,200 satellites with United Launch Alliance (ULA), Arianespace, and Blue Origin."
"Seismologists often study fault lines, or what are called transform boundaries, where friction builds between tectonic plates horizontally sliding past each other. When that friction is released, the result is an earthquake. Earthquakes strike suddenly, but they are a long time in the making. We may be approaching such a moment in the federal procurement landscape, when changes that were in the works for years converge and create significant shifts in what seems like the blink of an eye."
"The Air Force has awarded Boeing a $2.3 billion contract for 15 more KC-46A Pegasus refueling tankers. The award, announced by the Pentagon Tuesday evening, brings to 153 the number of KC-46s Boeing has on contract to build for the United States and allies. The Air Force plans to buy 179 KC-46s, and Boeing said it has so far delivered 76 of those."
"The Defense Department’s far-future research agency, DARPA, has moved its Space-BACN project to develop low cost, reconfigurable optical intersatellite links into its second phase, down-selecting seven contractors from 11 in the first phase to move ahead with development, according to a DARPA spokesperson."
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