Special Notice (SN) DARPA-SN-16-29: Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) Phase II/III Proposers Day DATE: April 29, 2016 E-mail: DARPA-SN-16-29@darpa.mil


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office (TTO) is sponsoring a Proposers Day to provide information to potential proposers on the objectives of the XS-1 program in advance of a planned Phase II/III Program Solicitation (PS). The Proposers Day will be held on Friday, April 29, 2016 at the DARPA Conference Center, 675 North Randolph Street, Arlington, VA 22203-2114 from 1:00PM to 4:30PM Eastern Time. Advance registration is required. A live webcast will be available for those who cannot attend in person.


The overall objective of the XS 1 Phase II/III program is to design, build, and flight test a reusable booster system to support an expendable upper stage capable of inserting 3,000 pounds to orbit, with a design goal of less than $5M cost per launch for an operational system. The program will demonstrate on-demand and rapid operations by flying the booster ten times in ten days and launching a demonstration payload greater than 900 pounds to orbit.

XS-1 has four primary technical goals:

Fly 10 times in a 10-day period (not including weather, range, and emergency delays) to demonstrate aircraft-like operations and eliminate concerns about the cost-effectiveness and reliability of reusable launch

Achieve flight velocity that is sufficiently high enough to enable use of a small (and therefore low-cost) expendable upper stage

Launch a 900 to 1,500 pound representative payload to demonstrate an immediate responsive launch capability able to support both DoD and commercial missions. The same XS-1 vehicle could eventually also launch future 3,000+ pound payloads by using a larger expendable upper stage

Reduce the cost of access to space for 3,000+ pound payloads, with a goal of $5M per flight for the operational system, which would include a reusable booster and expendable upper stage(s)

Based on the results of Phase I, DARPA anticipates awarding Phases II and III of the XS-1 program using an other transaction for prototype agreement with Government funding in the amount of $140M. The remaining phases include:

Phase II: Final Design, Fabrication, and Integration Assembly and Test

Phase III: Flight Test Campaign

The planned program solicitation will solicit proposals that either 1) propose a preliminary design of PDR-level rigor, or 2) propose a preliminary design derived from vehicle hardware the proposer has developed and tested. Submission of proposals to Phases II/III is optional, and associated proposal preparation costs will not be reimbursed. In order to complete detailed design, fabrication, and flight test within the planned schedule and budget, proposals for Phases II and III must contain designs of sufficient engineering maturity and fidelity. This includes the incorporation of propulsion systems which will be ready for flight no later than FY20.


Proposers Day will be held at the DARPA Conference Center on Friday, April 29, 2016 from 1:00PM to 4:30PM Eastern Time. Check-in begins at 12:30PM.

The Proposers Day will be unclassified and open to the general public. To attend unclassified events held at the DARPA Conference Center, a completed DARPA Form 104, “DARPA Conference Center Visitor Requirements for Unclassified Meetings,” must be filled out and submitted to Troy Robinett via encrypted e-mail to eugene.robinett.ctr@darpa.mil. This form can be found at http://www.darpa.mil/attachments/DARPA104.pdf. NOTE: Before individuals transmit Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or other sensitive data to DARPA, it is recommended that they apply appropriate physical, administrative, and technical protocols to safeguard their privacy. DARPA will secure all PII and sensitive personal data in a controlled environment and protect it from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Upon entry to the event, all attendees will be required to present Government-issued photo identification. Normally, this will be a state-issued driver’s license for U.S. citizens and a passport for foreign nationals. If you are presenting a driver’s license from a state which is not in compliance under Department of Homeland Security guidelines, a secondary form of photo ID will be required. U.S. permanent residents (Green Card holders) and Foreign Nationals are required to submit a DARPA Form 60 “U.S. Permanent Resident and Foreign National Visit Request” (the form can be found at: http://www.darpa.mil/attachments/DARPA60.pdf). The completed DARPA Form 60 must be provided via encrypted e-mail to SIDinternationalSecurity@darpa.mil and CC Troy Robinett, DARPA/TTO-PSR, eugene.robinett.ctr@darpa.mil, no later than the registration close date without exception. Due to space limitations of the conference facility, attendance will be limited to the first 150 registrants, and no more than three (3) representatives per organization.-

Participants must register for the Proposers Day in advance by e-mailing DARPA-SN-16-29@darpa.mil. Please include “Registration for XS-1 Proposers Day” in the subject line and include attendee’s first name, last name, organization, and country of citizenship in the body of the e-mail. NOTE: For those choosing not to attend in person, a live webcast will be available. If you would like to participate remotely, please follow the registration instructions above and include “Registration for XS-1 Live Webcast” in the subject line.

PLEASE NOTE: REGISTRATION CLOSES ON Wednesday, April 27TH at 5:00 PM Eastern Time. Visit requests and other applicable documents should also be sent to DARPA by this time. For instructions on sending visit requests to DARPA, please visit http://www.darpa.mil/policy/visitor-information.

Attendance at the XS-1 Phase II/III Proposers Day is voluntary and is not required to propose to subsequent Program Solicitations (if any) on this topic. The Proposers Day does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals or abstracts. This announcement is issued solely for information and program planning purposes and is not a Request for Information (RFI). Since this is not an RFI, no submissions against this notice will be accepted by the Government. DARPA will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred to participate in this Proposers Day.

The Program Manager for this effort is: Jess Sponable DARPA/TTO DARPA-SN-16-29@darpa.mil