Ukrainian company Firefly enters the U.S. Air Force space launch program
The U.S. Air Force has selected eight companies to participate in the Orbital/Suborbital Program-4 (OSP-4) for space launch. According to Space News, the Ukrainian company Firefly Aerospace, as well as SpaceX, Rocket Lab, and others have been selected to provide launch services.
OSP-4 is a follow-on to the OSP-3 program, which expires this November. SpaceX and Northrop Grumman were the only companies that participated in the previous program.
As part of the OSP-4 program, the participants will launch into orbit loads weighing more than 180 kg. The launch will have to take place within 12-24 months after the order is received. The article does not say how the organizers will choose the performer from eight participating companies.
OSP-4 will last nine years, and its total cost will be $985 million. At least 20 launches will take place under the program. The organizers note that the OSP-4 program is intended to give the government options to launch missions as needs emerge.