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The competition heats up: Orbital ATK has begun negotiations with NASA for possibly leasing part of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for use in connection with a military rocket.
Virginia-based Orbital ATK is one of two rocket companies that launch resupply missions to the International Space Station, but this deal would not involve those missions or that rocket, the company’s Antares. The Antares launches from NASA’s space port at Wallops Island, Va., carrying the Orbital ATK Cygnus capsule.
The new rocket that Orbital ATK hopes to develop and one day assemble in the VAB would be a medium- to heavy-lift rocket.The planned rocket currently referred to by the name the Air Force set for it, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle-class rocket.
It sounds like Orbital ATK is putting together a bid to compete for the Air Force rocket contract, and needs to get a handle on the costs for using the VAB at Kennedy in order to make the offer credible.