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Inching Closer to Launch Service Deal: The Air Force and Boeing are on the verge of inking a launch services deal, while the Federal Trade Commission could signal approval of the proposed Boeing-Lockheed Martin launch services merger within a couple of weeks, reports Reuters news service. The deal with Boeing had been on-hold as the company navigated its way out of recent troubles, settling with the Justice Department for $615 million and the Air Force for millions more. The Air Force already has a contract with Lockheed for launch support, but if the FTC approves the merger of the two companies, the new United Launch Alliance would handle services for both Boeing and Lockheed Martin rockets.