Darpa’s drive to revolutionize the use of space by demonstrating low-cost, responsive launch and satellite systems continues to face challenges from both technical hurdles and the rapid pace of commercial space development. The latest casualty is the agency’s Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (Alasa) program to develop a small launch vehicle capable of putting a 100-lb. satellite into low Earth orbit after release from an F-15 fighter, within 24 hr. of call-up, for less than ...

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