L-7: DARPA Launch Challenge/Launch 1 Preparation

In preparation for Launch 1 in the DARPA Launch Challenge, Astra vehicle “1 of 3” travels from the company’s facility in Alameda, California, to Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska in Kodiak, Feb. 18, 2020.

Today, space launch is a process that begins years in advance, and it relies on a limited number of launch ranges that have complex, expensive, and one-of-a-kind, fixed infrastructure. The DARPA Launch Challenge is stressing the time, technology, systems, and processes that currently constrain access to space. The Challenge aims to minimize launch infrastructure, improve responsiveness, and take advantage of advances in commercial launch cadence to demonstrate flexible launch capabilities in days rather than years, for our nation’s defense.