SpaceX's $159M Work for the Space Force Will Be Done at Hawthorne, Vandenberg Sites

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

SpaceX's $159M Work for the Space Force Will Be Done at Hawthorne, Vandenberg Sites

SpaceX clinched a $159.7 million contract from the Space Force to launch two missions into orbit by 2023.

The new contract was from the Department of Defense's Space Force, as part of their project dubbed "National Security Space Launch Phase 2." It also granted $224.3 million for United Launch Alliance, a Colorado-based joint venture between Boeing's Defense, Space & Security division and Lockheed Martin Space, created in 2006.


The Pentagon said in their announcement this week SpaceX's work will be performed in Hawthorne, as well as nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to dot.LA's request for comment on the new contracts.

The contracts' contents are largely confidential, so it's unclear exactly what payloads SpaceX and the ULA will be sending into space. It has something to do with the Department of Defense's Warfighter Council, a group that meets twice yearly to evaluate and chart the fledgling Space Development Agency's work to build out the country's military and defense presence in space.

The council was recently created to oversee the U.S.' ongoing work in building out a "national defense space architecture," that includes hundreds of satellites that "gather targeting and tracking information and instantly transmit it to warfighters and weapons systems."

"We are making it possible for our National Security Space team to accomplish our mission of providing on-orbit space capability to the warfighter," U.S. Space and Missile Systems Center Launch Enterprise director Robert Bongiovi said in a statement Tuesday. The Space and Missile Systems Center is headquartered not far from SpaceX, at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo.

"We are very pleased with the flexibility offered by our Phase 2 providers to make the best launch choices and adjustments as we proceed," Bongiovi added, speaking about SpaceX and ULA.

Last year, Bongiovi said his goal with the SMC was to embrace private industry and use it to advance the country's launch capabilities. In particular, he said the aim is to "demonstrate rapid, responsive and resilient tactical space launch."

United Launch Services lifts the government to the cosmos using several spacecraft; the Delta IV Heavy, Atlas V and Vulcan Centaur – which is also being tapped for the two new launch contracts.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 spacecraft will take two payloads into space. On one of those launches, USSF-87, SpaceX will also provide mission integration services. On the other mission, it will leave that work to the National Reconnaissance Office, which backed the contract.

United Launch Services' missions are expected to launch in the third fiscal quarter of 2023, while SpaceX's will take place in the fourth quarter.

This is the second Space Force contract for both SpaceX and ULA. In August 2020, the U.S. Dept. of Defense awarded the first three missions of its Phase 2 program. At the time, SpaceX received $316 million for one mission, while ULA got $337 million to launch two.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

INDIEV Teams Up With Foxconn To Launch Electric SUVs

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

INDIEV Teams Up With Foxconn To Launch Electric SUVs
Photo Courtesy of IndiEV

INDIEV, a startup based in Vernon, announced this week it will partner with Taiwanese tech conglomerate Foxconn to build its first prototypes of its upcoming electric SUV, nicknamed the INDI One.

The debut makes it the seventh consumer electric vehicle company to enter Los Angeles’s crowded cohort of green carmakers.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending