DARPA could award contracts worth as much as $21.5 million for industry to develop new software and software architectures that will improve how the Defense Department visualizes and responds to threats in space.
For decades, U.S. government agencies, both civil and military, have sought to develop a reusable launch vehicle (RLV), seeing it as a critical tool for lowering the cost of space access. The space shuttle is the best known such effort, but it’s hardly the only one: the National Aerospace Plane, Delta Clipper, X-33, X-34 and Space Launch Initiative all tried to develop reusable launchers — and all failed.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is moving ahead to the next phase of an experimental reusable spaceplane program, but the agency’s expectation that the winning bidder shoulder some of the costs could cause some companies to reconsider participating.
For the second consecutive year, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s top-funded space program is an experimental spaceplane that could fly 10 times in 10 days.
DARPA has scrapped plans to launch small satellites from a modified F-15 fighter jet after two tests of a new rocket fuel ended in explosions this year.
DARPA is studying technology that would enable the installation of antennas aboard satellites already on orbit, the latest of a series of exploratory efforts in satellite servicing and on-orbit assembly.
NovaWurks, a space technology startup founded three years ago in a former Northrop Grumman engineer’s garage, is trying to arrange a 2016 orbital demonstration of small-satellite cores, or satlets, it developed for the DARPA’s Phoenix program.
Developing new space capabilities, including low-cost responsive launch, remains a priority for DARPA even as it also works on terrestrial alternatives to critical space-based systems.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency hopes to start as many as five new space development programs next year in areas including space threat awareness and satellite propulsion technology.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently released this 2.5-minute animation to showing how it plans to launch microsatellites quickly and economically with the Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) program.
DARPA released specifications for a standardized spacecraft deployment system it is developing to enable military payloads to hitch rides on commercial communications satellites and hop off in or near geostationary orbit.
As technical work ramps up on an experimental military spaceplane program, government and industry are studying how to eventually commercialize the vehicle.
In a request for information, DARPA said it is eyeing a new program to advance the agency’s work in the field and, in the most optimistic scenario, serve as a catalyst for a commercial satellite servicing industry.
The companies selected are: Boeing, working with Blue Origin; Masten Space Systems working with XCOR Aerospace; and Northrop Grumman with Virgin Galactic.