"These awards are a leap forward in space launch capabilities, ensuring continued USA dominance in space", said Dr. William Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.
The three contracts are part of a Department of Defence initiative to assure constant military access to space and curb reliance on foreign-made rocket engines, like ULA's flagship Atlas V rocket that uses Russian-made RD-180 boosters. Through public-private partnership agreements, the goal of the acquisition strategy is to satisfy federal law by ensuring that the US maintains assured access to space, with at least two domestic launch service providers and without reliance on non-allied rocket propulsion systems.
Since 2003, the EELV program has launched 72 national security missions using the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles. The award to Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems is for development of the OmegA Launch System.
Each company will initially be allocated $181 million.
In all, the new contracts amount to almost $2.3 billion in financial support for the three companies and set the stage for the rockets to become major players in future satellite launches, now that they have the backing of the USA military to one day launch national security payloads.
Two of the new rockets will be selected in a second competition, providing assured access to space through the next decade and beyond. Air Force to "leverage its commercial, heavy-lift New Glenn launch vehicle for national security space missions", according to a news release. New Glenn is expected to reach initial launch capability in 2020. ULA announced in September that its Vulcan rocket will be powered by Blue's BE-4 liquid rocket engines. Like the New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle that preceded it, the New Glenn's first stage is created to be reusable. What would further add to the sting for Elon Musk's company, is the fact that the DOD will be selecting two of these three companies to become official launch providers for the U.S. government.
Jeff Bezos'Blue Origin, awarded $500 million for the preliminary work, will build its New Glenn Launch System.
Interestingly, current launch provider SpaceX was not on the list.
The one notable absence will be the Duchess of Cornwall, who is attending a longstanding engagement at a Scottish school. Also in attendance were Princess Anne and her daughter, Olympian Zara Tindall and her son-in-law, Mike Tindall.
What started out as a trade war between the USA and China is showing alarming signs of escalating into a geopolitical war. Analysts had expected imports to rise 15.0 percent, compared with August's 19.9 percent.
In Cohen's about-to-be-published final book The Flame , he included a poem titled " Kanye West Is Not Picasso ". Chris Wooden tweeted "Congrats to Leonard Cohen for writing one of the hardest rap verses I've ever seen".
Garmin has been making some moves in the final months of 2018 - and its new outdoor sports watch is the Garmin Instinct . But if you are an adventurer or perhaps a first-responder, the device comes in Graphite, Tundra and Flame Red.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been agreed to be independent of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow on Thursday. Ukraine now has three Orthodox communities - those that stay under Moscow's control and two schismatic churches.
Schools are empowered to make closure decisions if, in their judgment in the interests of child safety, it is prudent to do so. Rail services to Drogheda, Dundalk and Belfast have been suspended because of a tree on the line at Donabate in Dublin.
Background: Google Assistant has steadily been getting updates over the past few years, since Google launched it in 2016. That price puts the Lenovo's Smart Display at a higher cost than the Amazon's Echo Show , which goes for about $229.
This, however, would raise the prospect of increased regulation checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. This date is the end of the transition period negotiated by the United Kingdom as part of the divorce deal with the EU.
And once you've got it installed, you can sync your account so you keep the progress you've made on other platforms. Now, the door is open for anyone to play by visiting Fortnite .com/android and downloading the game.
September exports rose 14.5 percent from a year earlier, the fastest pace since February, the customs data showed. The officials said United States nuclear exports to China amounted to $170 million in 2017.
Paco Alcacer scored twice, with Sergio Ramos and Marc Bartra also scoring for the visitors, and Sam Vokes heading in for Wales . Wales were without star player Gareth Bale as they slipped to a 4-1 defeat at home to Spain in Thursday's friendly.
But soon after the landing, USA and Russian officials said that rescue forces were in contact with the astronaut and cosmonaut. A manufacturing error could be to blame, Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed Russian space expert as saying.
Apple secretly acquires Danish machine learning startup
Apple secretly bought a Danish visual effects startup Spektral for over $30 million past year , the media reported. Spektral's website notes that its solution makes it possible to create unique and immersive mixed reality content.
Alexa, Dolby Vision, and more
Microsoft originally revealed its revised Avatars during E3 last year, but the updated Avatars were delayed until this year. Microsoft just announced that the system software update for the Xbox One has started rolling out today for all users.
Hazard Snubs Messi And Ronaldo In His Ballon d'Or Pick
Chelsea star Eden Hazard has been named the Premier League Player of the Month for September after a string of fine performances. Eden Hazard has capped his sensational start to the new season by winning September's Premier League Player of the Month Award.
May to hold Brexit War Cabinet to agree backstop plan
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and the Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom also said to have "deep concerns". Asked by the BBC to offer her backing to Mrs May's plan, Ms McVey sidestepped the questions.
Bolt's brace gives Central Coast Mariners 4-0 win
If the keeper was disappointed to let in Bolt's first strike, the second goal was embarrassing for him and his centre-back. Meanwhile, bookmakers Coral have made Bolt 20-1 to play in the Premier League one day.
Wildlife ranger killed by crocodile in northern Australia
EARLIER: A FEMALE ranger has been taken by a crocodile in front of stunned onlookers in a remote region of the Northern Territory. A FEMALE Aboriginal Ranger has been taken by a crocodile in East Arnhem Land today, NT Worksafe has been notified.