Leahy is best known in defense technology circles as the “father of the X-45."
Three launch vehicle developers, one of which is still in stealth mode, have qualified to compete in a DARPA competition in early 2020 to demonstrate responsive launch capabilities.
Nearly two months after Maxar dropped out of a DARPA program to demonstrate satellite servicing, the agency is continuing to develop the servicing technology as it examines options to get it into space.
James Vedda, analyst at Aerospace Corp., said the RSGS setback should not be read “as an indictment of satellite servicing.”
A DARPA team will “inventory the DoD space-based command-and-control capabilities, identify critical gaps, deficiencies and inefficiencies in our existing architectures."
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded satellite operator Telesat a contract to study the use of commercial buses in the agency’s experimental low-Earth-orbit constellation program known as Blackjack.
DARPA has identified eight sites in the United States that it plans to use for a commercial launch competition, a selection that addresses one of the major concerns of potential competitors.
“Clearing all the debris out of LEO is expensive,” said DARPA's Fred Kennedy. “That’s what I fear. That this takes us to a place where I don’t know if it’s affordable.”
The Pentagon wants to stand up a Space Development Agency that presumably would take over space projects like Blackjack.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded BCT a contract to define bus and payload requirements for Blackjack, a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit to offer persistent global communications and Earth observation.