US Space Development Agency: 6 months after Tranche 0 launch, testing of laser terminals has not yet started

by Peter B. de Selding

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.— The U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA) has not yet begun testing the laser communications terminals (LCTs) on board its 23 first-generation missile-tracking and communications satellites, launched in April and June, but expects to do so by the end of the year, SDA Director Dr. Derek Tournear said.

Tournear said the satellites, built by York Space Systems, Lockheed Martin and SpaceX, are not fitted with radio-frequency cross links that could be used as a crutch to “guide” the laser signals.

“The satellites we have on orbit . . .

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