A key capability that AFRL wants to demonstrate with ABL Space Systems is remote launch.
Small launch missions planned for 2020 include experimental satellites, a prototype rideshare and missile defense tests.
As it plans future experiments DARPA wants to take advantage of the growing availability of launch options.
Senate appropriators add $22M for small launch, approve Space Force and Space Development Agency requests
The $22 million for Tactically Responsive Space Launch was added to the Air Force’s Research, Development, Test and Evaluation account.
Vector on Aug. 26 withdrew as the contractor for the Air Force Agile Small Launch Operational Normalizer (ASLON)-45 space lift mission.
Foust Forward | Worldwide, there are 131 small launch vehicles in the works. Most of these will fizzle out.
There’s almost universal agreement in the industry that there are far many more small launchers under development than can be supported by even the most optimistic forecasts of smallsat development.
OSP-4 is designed to accommodate payloads greater than 400 lbs. The Air Force projects it will procure about 20 missions over nine years.
The ASLON-45 space vehicle manifest will consist of multiple 3U and larger U.S. government cubesats to low earth orbit.
The U.K. will invest $34 million in small satellites, will increase support for the Combined Space Operations Center.
DIU: We are working with companies like Rocket Lab and Vox which are more mature as well as potentially disruptive ones like SpinLaunch.
The small launch amendments made it into the SASC markup that the committee voted in a closed session May 22 to advance to the Senate floor.
Do small launcher companies need megaconstellation business to survive? How should they approach a market that sometimes feels like its changing faster than the rockets themselves? Five launch companies discussed these topics March 13 at a Washington Space Business Roundtable discussion moderated by SpaceNews.