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DARPA announces responsive launch prize competition

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DocM    16,615

http://spacenews.com/darpa-announces-responsive-launch-prize-competition/

 

DARPA announces responsive launch prize competition



COLORADO SPRINGS — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced a prize competition April 18 to demonstrate the ability to rapidly launch small satellites, a competition whose regulatory challenges may tower over its technical ones.

The DARPA Launch Challenge, formally announced at the 34th Space Symposium here but previewed at a February conference, will offer a top prize of $10 million to the team whose vehicle is able to perform two launches of small satellites, from two different sites, on short notice.

As currently envisioned, the competition will have teams perform a first launch in late 2019. The location of the launch site will be announced only weeks in advance, and teams will have only days to integrate and launch the DARPA-provided payload.

Each team that successfully carries out that initial launch will receive $2 million and will be eligible for a second launch at a different site, again on short notice.

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darpalaunch-768x425.jpg

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+John.    1,395

That looks an awful lot like a Falcon 9! Maybe they've already predicted the winner ;)

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Beittil    583

Haha, the similarity is indeed striking. But I highly doubt a party like SpaceX would be interested in this segment of the market, in fact they retired Falcon 1 because of their lack of interest for it.

 

Anyway, this would be ideal for parties like Rocket Lab, FireFly and Virgin Orbit. I suppose flying the 747 to different locations could count as 'different launch site' for em :p But Yeah, a crew like RocketLab might actually have to be operational on a site like SLC-39C for example the be able to launch from multiple sites. Because right now they are set up for Mahia only. And FireFly doesn't even have a launch site at all yet.

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satukoro    1,350

What a time to be alive.

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DocM    16,615

I'm wondering if Boeing will be allowed to enter Phantom Express  (aka XS-1); a vertical takeoff, horizontal landing  spaceplane it's designed for a flight a day. AR-22 engine, derived from the space shuttle SSME/RS-25.

 

 

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