DARPA Launch Challenge candidate sites (Credit: DARPA)
ARLINGTON, Va. (NASA PR) — DARPA has narrowed the potential launch locations for the DARPA Launch Challenge to eight, with options for both vertical and horizontal launch. The challenge will culminate in late 2019 with two separate launches to low Earth orbit within weeks of each other from two different sites. Competitors will receive information about the final launch sites, payloads, and targeted orbit in the weeks prior to each launch.
The potential sites are spread across the United States:
California Spaceport, Vandenberg Air Force Base
Cape Canaveral Spaceport, Florida
Cecil Spaceport, Jacksonville, Florida
Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Wallops Island, Virginia
Mojave Air and Space Port, California
Naval Outlying Field, San Nicolas Island, California
Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska, Kodiak
Spaceport America, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Eighteen teams have prequalified to participate in the challenge, passing the first hurdle in the milestone process by proposing a viable solution for flexible and responsive launch. The diverse pool of applicants reflects the growth of the small commercial launch industry, and its potential to support emerging national security needs.
“Response from teams with different ways of achieving flexible and responsive launch solutions on short notice has been ...