The US Space Force has embarked on an ambitious mission to strengthen its presence in space.

In a recent announcement, the Space Force has unveiled plans for 21 new launch missions through 2024 under the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program. These missions are essential for ensuring the nation’s security and providing vital information to decision-makers and warfighters.

Two companies, United Launch Alliance (ULA) and SpaceX, have been entrusted with these missions, and both have pivotal roles in advancing the nation’s space capabilities.

Space Force: Mission Breakdown

The 21 new launch missions serve various strategic purposes and contribute to different facets of national security. Let’s look into the details of these missions:

United Launch Alliance (ULA) Takes the Lead

Out of the 21 assignments, ULA has secured 11, making them a key player in the NSSL program.

ULA’s responsibilities include launching satellites for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), some of which are classified. These satellite launches are integral to the nation’s intelligence-gathering and surveillance capabilities.

Furthermore, ULA is set to test a cutting-edge nuclear thermal rocket for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).