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Air Force Plans Competition For 2nd SBSS Contract Award
Space News ^ | 3/19/2010 | Peter B. de Selding

Posted on 03/20/2010 11:53:22 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld

The U.S. Air Force’s decision to hold a fresh competition to build a second Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) system satellite is an example of a government agency made gun-shy by “a protest-rich environment” in which losing bidders often challenge government contract awards, according to Craig R. Cooning, general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems.

In a March 16 press briefing, Cooning said Boeing, which teamed with Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., to build the first SBSS satellite, was prepared to enter into a firm, fixed-price contract for the second SBSS, which is intended as an identical copy of the first.

Instead of awarding a sole-source contract to Boeing and Ball, the Air Force has elected to hold a competitive bidding round with the intention of awarding a new contract this year. Cooning said a draft request for proposals for a second SBSS is expected from the Air Force in April.

The SBSS program has not had a trouble-free development history. It is now estimated to cost some $800 million — more than double the initial estimate — not including the long-delayed launch aboard a Minotaur 4 rocket. Delays in the Minotaur’s availability have pushed the launch back to late this year, and the first SBSS satellite has been placed into storage.

SBSS and its elaborate ground infrastructure are part of an emerging space situational awareness program that includes ground- and space-based gear to track in-orbit satellites and orbital debris. One of the program requirements is that SBSS be integrated into the Air Force’s existing Space Surveillance Network of ground-based radar and optical sensors that track what is in orbit

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TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: minotaur4; satellite; sbss; space; spacesurveillance; spacetracking; usaf

1 posted on 03/20/2010 11:53:22 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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To: sonofstrangelove

This is probably to spy on us.

2 posted on 03/20/2010 11:56:55 PM PDT by GeronL (I said it yesterday and I'll say it today and everyday: Tomorrow I stop being so lazy!!)
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To: GeronL

The good ole NSA

3 posted on 03/20/2010 11:58:00 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution."-Dr.Wernher Von Braun)
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