Pentagon official backs current ICBM motor rocket commercial rideshare policy

16 May 2018

Key Points

  • A top Pentagon official backs the current policy barring commercial payloads on ICBM motor rockets
  • Changing the policy could allow a company to undercut a developing small launch base

A top Pentagon official is backing current policy that bars commercial secondary payloads from flying on rockets derived from excess intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) motors.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Stephen Kitay wrote in a 5 April letter viewed by Jane’s that while he will not pursue or allow commercial secondary payloads on ICBM motor rockets, the Pentagon will actively consider government secondary payload opportunities, when technically feasible and risk-appropriate.

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