DARPA Releases XS-1 Phase II/III Solicitation

Credit: DARPA
Credit: DARPA

DARPA released a solicitation for bids for its XS-1 Phase II/III program on Monday. The private-public partnership includes $140 million in DARPA funding for the reusable booster. According to the solicitation:

“The overall objective of the XS 1 Phase II/III program is to design, build, and flight test a reusable booster system prototype to support an upper stage capable of inserting a minimum of 3,000 pounds to orbit, with a design goal of less than $5M cost per launch for an operational system. The program will demonstrate on-demand and routine flight operations by flying the booster ten times in ten days and launch a demonstration payload greater than 900 pounds to orbit.

“This program solicitation solicits proposals that either, 1) propose a system at a preliminary design review level of rigor tailored for a demonstration rather than an acquisition program, or 2) propose a preliminary design derived from vehicle hardware the proposer has developed and tested. Phase II includes the final design, fabrication, integration, assembly, and ground test of the XS-1 reusable booster system prototype. Phase III is the flight test campaign.”

The solicitation is open to all U.S. companies. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Masten Space Systems received contracts under Phase I.

The deadline is July 22.

  • Enrique Moreno

    Is Masten at business or it was closed?

  • Hug Doug

    Masten is still in business.

  • CDS

    It would be a good move for DARPA to have all three partners to develop their own prototypes. Until a functioning version is working, they will never know who is capable of building the spaceship they want, in the capacity that the Defense Department wants….

    PLUS, it creates competition for the future. Multiple companies are needed for this. NOT Just Coke & Pepsi.

    New Space still very much needs public funds to blossom into a hardy industry. Having multiple companies driving to create new products will foster that industry. At this stage, the more companies, the better.

  • RktScn

    Should read Northrop Grumman instead of Lockheed Martin. The latter was not funded under Phase 1A or Phase 1B.