The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been making strides in being able to deliver small satellites into orbit faster and cheaper. On Feb. 5, DARPA gave updates on the Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA)
program at the 18th
Annual Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Conference. So far, DARPA successfully completed the first phase of the program by drafting a design, and also announced that the Boeing Company was chosen to realize the second phase, which involves conducting 12 orbital prototype test launches, according to a press release
The main objective of the ALASA program is to propel 100-pound satellites into a low Earth orbit within 24 hours of the initial call-up, Bradford Tousley, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office said in the release. Each launch would cost less than one million dollars.