U.S. DARPA says Blackjack LEO constellation demonstrator on track with Airbus, Telesat, Blue Canyon; selection of winner in 2020

by Peter B. de Selding

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Defense Department’s Blackjack program to launch a fleet of small, commercially built low-orbiting satellites to test various military sensors is on track to complete its preliminary design review by year’s end before moving to satellite construction.

“I couldn’t be happier with the progress,” said Paul Thomas, Blackjack program manager at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). “I have more payloads and buses than I expected. It’s going to be hard, going into Phase 2 and Phase 3 . . .

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