Real Price Of Delta 4 Launch Remains A Secret – Market News Store

Real Price Of Delta 4 Launch Remains A Secret

The Space and Missile Systems Center or US Air Force announced last week that the United Launch Alliance contract worth $149 million for modification of Delta 4 Heavy launch has been awarded to ULA under contract of Launch Vehicle Production Services (LVPS).  Under this $ 449.8 contract the United Launch Alliance had been given contract to launch three NRO Missions in October of 2018 namely the NROL-91, NROL- 68 and the NROL – 71 with target dates of launch as 2022, 2023 and 2024. The announcement of this award drew sharp reaction from social media from stalwarts in the space industry who say that launches of the Delta 4 Heavy require cost outlays of nearly $350 million.

Some observers say that the price tag of $149 million for one mission and $449.8 million for 3 Delta 4 Heavy does not make any sense. Last June USAF awarded a contract of $130 million to SpaceX for launch of Falcon Heavy in 2020 from its Space Command-52 spacecraft. The contract sum given by Air Force is only one portion of the amount that is being paid by for launch of these missions as the complete launch plan is funded by multiple contracting bodies and though the USAF says that overall cost of the launches have come down they have not reduced by half.

As per documents shared with news agencies the contract of $449.8 million is only for production of the three launch vehicles that covers costs for labor and hardware which is given in advance to the ULA as these are complex missions that take nearly four years to get it moving. As per details of contract documents ULA needs immediate commitment to being the production process and procure all necessary accessories to support the production of launch vehicles. The agreement of LSVP is one of the two contract vehicles being used by Air Force to pay for launch of Delta 4 Heavy vehicles.

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