“The successful launch of the Aerospace CubeSats marks a huge achievement for SMC and its partners,” Col. Dennis Bythewood, the Space and Missile Systems Center’s program executive officer for space development, said in a Nov. 2 press release. “This mission has set a precedent for speed and will also provide us with much needed data for future space development programs.”
The Air Force has made little secret of its desire to fulfill needed capabilities through a constellation of hundreds of small satellites in low earth orbit. The Pentagon established the Space Development Agency in March to coordinate that effort and help get satellites to orbit as soon as possible. Over the summer, the agency released its vision for that constellation, which included several layers that would provide unique capabilities and be tied together through a data transport layer. While that vision has been refined over the last few months, the core of the concept remains unchanged.
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