The US military is looking for commercial partners to work in deep space

The US Department of Defense is looking for commercial partners who would help them launch spacecraft into space beyond the geostationary orbit. At the same time, the company must provide a full range of services for the rapid placement of satellites.

A space zone of interest to the US military. Source:

Space in geostationary orbit

The Defense Innovation Unit of the US Department of Defense (DIU) is looking for commercial partners who could launch satellites with payloads into orbits above geostationary, including those located behind the Moon. 

Geostationary is the orbit in the plane of the equator, on which the spacecraft is located at an altitude of 35,786 km. At the same time, its movement turns out to be synchronous with the rotation of the Earth, and it seems to hang over the same point.

The US military uses this orbit to track ballistic missile launches. Therefore, all observation satellites are designed to work exactly at this distance from the Earth. But DIU notes in its request that they expect the appearance of foreign vehicles in more remote areas of space. They are interested in commercial proposals that will allow them to counteract.

What is the US Department of Defense looking for?

The DIU request states that they are interested in proposals that will allow satellites to be launched into orbits that are further than the Moon, that is, above 365 thousand km. In this case, it becomes obvious that the desire of the military is caused by the threat of confrontation with China on the moon of our planet.

This suspicion is further reinforced by the fact that the military is looking for “rapid deployment systems“, that is, allowing the satellite to be put into orbit in a matter of days or weeks. Such an opportunity is critically important if there is a threat of the use of anti-satellite missile weapons by the enemy.

At the same time, the US military is looking for companies that can both create satellite platforms and develop rockets to launch them into orbits above geostationary. At the same time, they are interested in devices of any class, from CubeSats to the weight of several tons. The main thing is that one or more types of payload can be placed on them.

Companies should also submit projects involving the creation of prototype systems within the next 12-18 months. All this indicates that the US military wants effective solutions from its commercial partners in the next few years.

According to

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