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SDA Eyes Sending More Satellites Into Orbit in 2024

Launch plans

SDA Eyes Sending More Satellites Into Orbit in 2024

The Space Development Agency’s goal onward from September 2024 is to send 161 satellites into space in less than a year, SDA Director Derek Tournear said at the National Security Space Association’s online SpaceTime Series on Thursday. The target starting that month is “an 11-launch campaign over 11 months, one launch a month,” Tournear disclosed.

The projected launches comprise the first Tranche 1 operational satellites of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture’s constellation of lower-cost, mass-produced spacecraft in low-Earth orbit, SpaceNews reported.

Using SpaceX rockets, the SDA launched in 2023 its first 23 satellites as demonstration spacecraft for the Proliferated Warfighter’s Trance 0. The launch of four Trance 0 L3Harris missile-tracking satellites has been delayed, and putting them into orbit is SDA’s priority in early 2024. The launch date has yet to be announced for the USSF-124 Space Force mission, wherein the SDA satellites will share a ride.

The Tranche 1 satellites for 2024 launch include 126 Transport Layer communication satellites supplied by York Space Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, as well as 35 missile-tracking sensor satellites from L3Harris, Northrop Grumman and RTX. 

Besides missile tracking and warning, the Proliferated Warfighter constellation aims to provide capabilities in targeting hypersonic weapons and space asset defense.

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Category: Space