Orbital Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Demo By 2025

DARPA is funding a nuclear thermal orbital flight demonstration by 2025. The Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) program is to demonstrate a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) system on orbit. NTP uses a nuclear reactor to heat propellant to extreme temperatures before expelling the hot propellant through a nozzle to produce thrust. Compared to …

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DARPA’s On-chip Terabit Laser Communication Program

American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), a program of NY CREATES gave $19 million in research program awards for advanced integrated photonics under The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Lasers for Universal Microscale Optical Systems (LUMOS) program. AIM Photonics is advancing technology for applications with self-driving vehicles, AR, 3D camera technology, quantum …

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DARPA Laser Version of EMDrive Has a Test Result Better Than Commercial Ion Drive

If we could have a space drive that did not use fuel then we could accelerate for decades using a nuclear power source. This would allow a spacecraft with a tiny amount of propulsion to accelerate to near light speed. DARPA has been funding the Nascent Light-Matter Interactions (NLM) project for about three years. This …

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Tiny MEMS Space Telescope on a Cubesat

DARPA deployed a cubesat that has a new mini-space telescope. DARPA’s Deformable Mirror (DeMi) CubeSat deployed from the International Space Station July 13 and uses a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) mirror for the space telescope. The mirror changes shape to correct for the effects of temperature and mechanical changes on a space telescope which improves image …

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DARPA and US Space Force Aim to Mass Produce LEO Spy Satellites

DARPA Blackjack aims to demonstrate spy satellite sensors that are low in size, weight, and power, and that can be mass produced to fit on many different buses from many different providers, for less than $2 million per payload. They want Low Earth Orbit spy satellite network performance that is on par with current spy …

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DARPA Wants to Accelerate Navy Robotic Ship Technology by a Decade

The US Navy needs to deliver robotic combat ships with conservative technologies that will work but DARPA programs can try to use risky technology. DARPA wants to integrate risky technology projects to accelerate the US Navy’s capabilities. Maintaining separate lines of effort is important because DARPA has the freedom to fail whereas failure in an …

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DARPA Implant Will Reduce Jet Lag and Control the Body

DARPA’s new ADvanced Acclimation and Protection Tool for Environmental Readiness (ADAPTER) program aims to develop a travel adapter for the human body, an implantable or ingestible bioelectronic carrier that can provide warfighters control over their own physiology. The implant will improve sleep and possibly eliminate bacteria that cause diarrhea and food poisoning. The integrated system …

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DARPA Looks for Tunneling Breakthroughs

DARPA is funding breakthroughs in tunneling. The Underminer project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of rapidly constructing tactical tunnel networks to provide secure logistics infrastructure to pre-position supplies or resupply troops as they move through an area. General Electric Research Center and Colorado School of Mines will focus on development of an integrated solution for …

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Astra Rocket Vertical for Launch Rehersal

Astra rocket “1 of 3” has been vertical position at the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska. Today the team is going through “wet dress rehearsal” in which the liquid propellant will be added to the rocket, but not fired. See updates at http://darpalaunchchallenge.org Astra Space is developing pump-fed, liquid bipropellant propulsion engines for DARPA and …

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Astra Launching Rockets Moved in a Shipping Container Needing Only Days to Prepare

Astra Space is developing pump-fed, liquid bipropellant propulsion engines for DARPA and NASA. The current vehicle, Rocket 3.0, is designed to have a payload capacity of approximately 100 kg to low earth orbit. The first Rocket 3.0 vehicle has completed a static fire test at Atwater. It is planned to launch from Alaska and reach …

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