Jeffrey LewisDARPA gets the X-37

DARPA is now running the X-37 program.

A few days ago, Space News reported that NASA had turned the X-37 program over to an unnamed government agency. NASA spokesman Michael Braukus has now confirmed that DARPA was the government agency in question.

The X-37, designed to operate in both the orbital and reentry phases of flight, is also a technology demonstrator for the Air Force Research Laboratory/’s space maneuver vehicle, which could be used for a number of missions including:

  • Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance of ground targets (with either integrated or deployable ISR satellite)
  • Deployment and recovery of microsatellites (e.g. Space Control Satellites)
  • Rapid constellation replenishment

Boeing is the prime contractor.