From: Los Angeles Air Force Base
Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. - The U.S. Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center declared both the Dec. 3, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014 flights of the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle will each count as a successful flight towards Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) certification. This completes the three flights required for the flight experience requirement.
Flight experience is one of several assessments conducted on each launch and is one component of launch vehicle certification. Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) signed by SpaceX and SMC in June 2013, the SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 must perform at least three successful flights of a common launch vehicle configuration and pass a number of technical reviews, audits and independent verification and validation of the launch vehicle, ground systems, and manufacturing processes before the system will be considered for launching critical and high cost National Security Space payloads.
Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves, the SMC Commander, commented, "I applaud SpaceX on achieving the three flights. With this significant part of the agreed-to path in certifying the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch system complete, we look forward to working with SpaceX to complete the remaining certification activities and providing SpaceX with the opportunity to compete for EELV missions."
The Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, 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 GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks; space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.
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