Northrop Grumman setting up shop inside NASA's VAB

Four companies are in a battle royale to win an important Air Force contract.

On Friday, Northrop Grumman invited The News Station to see what they’ve been working on in that fierce competition. Some of it involves throwbacks to the space shuttle program, showing us again, how the past and the future of space are closely aligned.

The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) is where they stack rockets, and we were brought inside the bay that will house the Omega rocket, evidence that a new player is about to enter the field.

The Omega rocket is being built to take highly classified Air-Force technology to space. Northop Grumman built the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Omega is their first “large class” rocket.

SpaceX, Blue Origin, and United Launch Allicance (ULA) are the competitors, with large class rockets already in use.  The prize that all four are after is a long-term deal with the U.S. Air Force. 

Something Northrop Grumman is proud of, is the mobile launch pad that the shuttle lifted off from is now theirs. Back inside the VAB, the space shuttle called this bay home too. So in short, the Omega rocket is inheriting some legacy infrastructure.

The company began working on Omega in 2016 and says it will be ready for launch in 2021.