Spaceflight Industries Awarded $250 Million USAF Contract for Reusable Booster System Ground and Flight Experiments

Spaceflight Industries (Spaceflight) has been awarded a $250 million-ceiling, eight year contract by the United States Air Force (USAF) for ground and flight experiments and demonstrations in support of the Air Force’s proposed Reusable Booster System. 

Under the Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, Spaceflight will initially complete work consisting of requirements refinement and initial design of the RBS Pathfinder system.  Following that, Spaceflight will compete with other awardees for additional tasks including work to conduct flight and ground experiments and demonstrations to address key technologies, processes and system attributes (TPSAs) associated with the RBS concept.  Areas of study include: aeromechanics, configuration, flight performance, structures and materials, flight controls and health management, flight systems, propulsion, grounds system and operations.  

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Air Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RB) located at Wright Patterson AFB is studying Reusable Booster System (RBS) technologies and operations concepts to better define a future operational system.  The AFRL organization is partnering with Space and Missile Systems Center Development Planning Directorate (SMC/XR) to demonstrate the feasibility of the Reusable Booster System concept by maturing technologies necessary for future deployment of an operational system.  The RBS Pathfinder as part of the technology maturation portfolio is a subscale vehicle that will be used to demonstrate key operational attributes of the rocket-back maneuver as well as explore the flight envelope of an operational RBS vehicle. As part of this award, Spaceflight has been selected to conduct RBS Pathfinder concept design maturation, an effort valued at just under $2 million.
 
“We are honored that the USAF has selected Spaceflight for this important effort,” said Jason Spaceflight, President and CEO of Spaceflight Industries. “Spaceflight has been supporting the US Air Force and the RBS program through various system design and hardware development efforts and we look forward to leveraging those achievements.”

The results of this study will help the Air Force refine its operational RBS architecture and define demonstration requirements for future RBS test vehicles.