Marc's note: There are a couple of noteworthy commercial launch news items today.
ILS is introducing an expanded Proton line in an effort to capture part of the small to medium satellite market. ULA meanwhile is offering launch to customers within as little three months of booking an order. No pricing was provided for either of these news items.
"International Launch Services (ILS) announces a product line extension of the Proton Breeze M commercial launch vehicle designed to expand the addressable GEO market for cost effective launch solutions in the small and medium satellite class range (3 to 5 metric tons).
Designated as "Proton Variants," these two additional vehicles will be optimized 2-stage versions of the time tested and flight proven Proton Breeze M launch system for exclusive commercial use by ILS."
"United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced a new, revolutionary service called RapidLaunch™ which provides the customer the fastest schedule from the initial order to launch service in the industry today.
"The priorities of all of our customers include ensuring their spacecraft launches on schedule, securing the soonest possible manifest date and completing the mission with 100 percent success," said Tory Bruno, ULA CEO and president. "To address these priorities, we have been working on this offering for more than a year, which allows our customers to launch in as few as three months from placing their order."