Program aims to create constellation-agnostic optical communications terminal to interlink commercial and government satellite constellations
LOS ANGELES, December 20, 2021 (Mynaric PR) —Mynaric has been selected to work on the architectural design of a next-generation optical communications terminal as part of the phase 0 of the Space Based Adaptive Communications Node (Space-BACN) program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). DARPA’s Space-BACN program envisions an optical communications terminal that could be reconfigured to work with most of today’s optical intersatellite link standards allowing seamless communication among government and private-sector proprietary satellites. The selection for the phase 0 of the program is yet another win for Mynaric in the US government market that represents a driving force for the deployment of space-based, laser communication capabilities.
DARPA’s B-SURE program aims to develop fundamental understanding of microbial capabilities for bioproduction in space.
ARLINGTON, Va. (DARPA PR) — The DoD has a role in orbital and lunar missions as defined by the US Space Force (USSF) Space Capstone Publication1. In this document, USSF notes the “inherent value of the space domain and the tremendous influence space has on U.S. prosperity and security.” There is a critical DoD need for the continued development and future expansion of orbital manufacturing to enable and ensure supply chain resiliency, sustained technological superiority, and asset security and repair for current and future operations. To meet this unique challenge, DARPA announced today that it was taking an initial step to explore and de-risk manufacturing capabilities that leverage biological processes in resource limited environments with its Biomanufacturing: Survival, Utility, and Reliability beyond Earth (B-SURE) program.
Led by NASA JPL, Team CoSTAR will participate in the SubT final this week to demonstrate multi-robot autonomy in a series of tests in extreme environments.
PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Eight teams featuring dozens of robots from more than 30 institutions, including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, will converge in a former Kentucky limestone mine from Sept. 21 to 24 to participate in a series of complex underground scenarios. The goal: to demonstrate cutting-edge robotic autonomy capabilities and compete for the chance to win $2 million.
LINTHICUM, Md. and WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. – Sept. 16, 2021 – The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Blackjack program has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) a contract for Phase 2 development of an advanced, software-defined positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) payload, with options to build units destined for space flight.
RSA Investigates a Novel High-Thrust, High-Efficiency Propulsion System
WASHINGTON, July 19, 2021 (Rhea Space Activity PR) — As U.S. operations in space steadily move further away from Earth orbit, the rapidly growing ‘New Space’ company Rhea Space Activity (RSA) is pleased to announce that it has been selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) for a Phase I, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 2021 Space Force Pitch Day award to investigate a bi-modal, solar-thermal propulsion system that would provide rapid repositioning capabilities for a future United State Space Force (USSF) deep space communications spacecraft.
Achievement is key step toward realization of global high-speed space network
ARLINGTON, Va. (DARPA PR) — DARPA successfully deployed two satellites on June 30 as part of the SpaceX Transporter 2 launch. Both Mandrake 2 spacecraft, Able and Baker, are functioning well and progressing through checkout and commissioning. Conceived as an early risk-reduction flight for DARPA’s Blackjack program, the Mandrake 2 mission will prove out advanced laser communications technologies for a broad government stakeholder team that includes DARPA, Space Development Agency (SDA), Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV), and Office of the Secretary of Defense’s (OSD) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) office.
WASHINGTON (SDA PR) — The Space Development Agency today announced the successful launch of its first two satellite missions, Mandrake II and Laser Interconnect Networking Communications System (LINCS) and the Prototype On-orbit Experimental Testbed (POET) payload, on June 30 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.
The launch, supported by SpaceX’s Transporter 2, an all-rideshare Falcon 9 mission, carried aboard SDA’s first two sets of experimental satellites, designed and built with government and industry partners, to gather data on optical communication terminal (OCT) performance in low-Earth orbit (LEO), along with the POET payload to demonstrate on-orbit data fusion, proving out core capabilities required for SDA’s future development efforts.
LOUISVILLE, Colo., June 24, 2021 (Sierra Space PR) – Sierra Space, the new commercial space subsidiary of global aerospace and national security leader Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), will supply the propulsion components and integration services for a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system under a recent contract with General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS). GA-EMS and Sierra Space will develop and demonstrate an on-orbit NTP system for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program called Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO).
TUKWILA, Wash., June 24, 20211 (LeoStella PR) –LeoStella, a specialized satellite constellation design and manufacturing company, delivered its first satellite to Loft Orbital Solutions Inc. (Loft Orbital). LeoStella delivered the “Yet Another Mission-3” (YAM-3) satellite to Cape Canaveral for an upcoming SpaceX launch. The YAM-3 satellite will host a variety of payloads, including a demonstration for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Blackjack program and an Internet of Things payload for Eutelsat. The satellite is part of a broader contract to build and integrate satellite buses for several upcoming Loft Orbital missions.
The delivery of this satellite demonstrates LeoStella’s ability to leverage its continuous manufacturing line of commercial satellites to respond to short-term mission needs.
“We have built a great partnership with Loft Orbital,” said Brian Rider, chief technology officer at LeoStella. “By pulling satellites off our production line, we are able to tailor them for Loft’s Payload Hub and get them delivered in less than half the time normally required for a satellite build cycle. Loft has a unique approach to ‘Make Space Simple’ for their customers. We are proud to be part of their ecosystem of enabling technologies and processes.”
DULLES, Va., April 12, 2021 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SpaceLogistics LLC, have successfully completed the docking of the Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2) to the Intelsat 10-02 (IS-10-02) commercial communications satellite to deliver life-extension services. The docking was completed at 1:34 p.m. EST.
Industry teams to develop propulsion design, spacecraft concepts for demonstrating on-orbit Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system
ARLINGTON, Va. (DARPA PR) — DARPA has awarded contracts for the first phase of the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) program. The goal of the DRACO program is to demonstrate a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) system above low Earth orbit in 2025. The three prime contractors are General Atomics, Blue Origin, and Lockheed Martin.
Agency veteran brings skillset, drive to convert bold technology visions into new capabilities for nation
ARLINGTON, Va. (DARPA PR) — Stefanie Tompkins takes the reins today as the 23rd director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
With nearly eleven years of DARPA service under her belt, Tompkins, a former military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, has an exceptional understanding of the agency’s culture. From 2007 through 2017, she held multiple positions, including program manager and deputy director of the Strategic Technology Office, a systems-oriented technical office; DARPA chief of staff; and director of the Defense Sciences Office, a highly exploratory office that identifies and accelerates new technologies. In 2017 and into the beginning of 2018, she served as the acting deputy director of the agency.
New program to develop designs and materials for building large structures on orbit and moon
ARLINGTON, Va. (DARPA PR) — As commercial space companies increase the cadence of successful rocket launches, access to space is becoming more routine for both government and commercial interests. But even with regular launches, modern rockets impose mass and volume limits on the payloads they deliver to orbit. This size constraint hinders developing and deploying large-scale, dynamic space systems that can adapt to changes in their environment or mission.
When a SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off with dozens of satellites aboard on the Transporter-1 rideshare mission later this month, it will do so without a pair of experimental satellites from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
SpaceNewsreports the two small satellites that make up DARPA’s Mandrake 2 mission were damaged during a pre-launch processing mishap at SpaceX processing facility in Florida.
According to an industry source the mishap happened while the satellites were being stacked and the payload separation system was accidentally released. SpaceX did not respond to questions on what caused the mishap.
The Mandrake 2 satellites are equipped with optical inter-satellite links for broadband data transmission. DARPA is testing this technology as the possible basis of future optically meshed computer networks in low Earth orbit.
The satellites are part of DARPA’s Blackjack program, which is focused on developing advanced space technologies.
SpaceX’s Transporter-1 rideshare mission is now scheduled for Jan. 21 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The Falcon 9 will deploy the payloads into sun-synchronous orbit.
BCT demonstrated maturity and capability of its X-SAT bus design which will enhance LEO communications for the U.S. Department of Defense
BOULDER, Colo. (Blue Canyon Technology PR) — Leading small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies, Inc. (“BCT” or “Blue Canyon”) announced today that it has completed its critical design review (CDR) for the Blackjack Program, a military space capabilities demonstration being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).