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Leveraging the Commercial World: Officials with the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., have let $3.7 million worth of contracts to Boeing, Intelsat, Orbital Sciences, and Space Systems/Loral for the study of commercial options that could meet future military satellite communications requirements. Over the course of six months, each company will explore the feasibility of using minimally modified commercial satellite communications products and capabilities in this role. They will also identify commercial-like acquisition approaches that the Air Force could apply to enhance affordability, reduce delivery time, and expand the space industrial base. These studies are part of SMC's broader efforts to help develop the Defense Department's future satellite communications architecture. SMC officials expect to announce a second set of study awards by the end of the month. (Los Angeles release)