Masten Wins $3 Million Contract for DARPA XS-1 Reusable Vehicle

Artist's conception of a nominal X-S1 vehicle. (Credit: DARPA)
Artist’s conception of a nominal X-S1 vehicle. (Credit: DARPA)

Masten Space Systems of Mojave, Calif. has won a $3 million contract for work on DARPA’s XS-1 program, according to an award announcement at

The objective of the XS-1 program “is to demonstrate a reusable first stage launch vehicle capable of carrying and deploying an upper stage that inserts 3,000 to 5,000 lb. payloads into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), designed for less than $5M per launch for an operational system.”

The system has to be able to perform with aircraft-like operations. And demonstrate the ability to fly 10 times in 10 days. It needs to reach Mach 10 at least once. And provide the basis for next-generation launch services and “global reach hypersonic and space access aircraft.”

The Masten award is the first of several contract that DARPA is expected to sign for the program.