Release Number: 010214
2/26/2014 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Air Force Space Command's Space and
Missile Systems Center has determined that the Space Exploration
Technologies Corporation's (SpaceX) Sept. 29, 2013 launch of its Falcon 9
v1.1 launch vehicle will count toward SpaceX's Evolved Expendable
Launch Vehicle (EELV) certification.
Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), signed
by SpaceX and SMC in June 2013, SpaceX must meet rigorous certification
requirements and perform at least three successful flights of a common
launch vehicle configuration for the company to be considered for
launching critical and high cost NSS payloads.
Certification requirements for the Falcon 9 v1.1 include at least three
successful flights of a common launch vehicle configuration, as well as
passing a number of technical reviews, audits and independent
verification, and validation of the launch vehicle's ground systems and
manufacturing processes. Where possible, the Air Force will work jointly
with SpaceX to accelerate completing the requirements from these phases
to expedite certification.
"This flight represents one of many certification requirements jointly
agreed to between the Air Force and SpaceX," said Lt. Gen. Ellen
Pawlikowski, SMC commander.
SMC is still assessing the SpaceX' Falcon 9 v1.1 launches on Dec. 3,
2013 and Jan. 6, 2014 for their applicability towards the certification
requirements. Additionally, the Air Force will remain engaged with
SpaceX for resolution of any issues experienced during these flights and
any planned system improvements.
SMC, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air
Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing
military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning
System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological
satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks,
space based infrared systems and space situational awareness