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Senate Committee Proposes Additional $110M to Accelerate Blackjack LEO Satellite Program

The Senate Armed Services Committee has proposed adding $110 million to the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act in a push to accelerate a satellite development program under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, SpaceNews reported Thursday.

The Blackjack program aims to develop a constellation of small military satellites in low-earth orbit, which, according to a report by the SASC, “would have profound implications for the resiliency and survivability of critical space missions.”

The same SASC report instructs DARPA, the U.S. Air Force and the Missile Defense Agency to determine if the Blackjack satellite network can meet the MDA’s requirement for a space-based ballistic missile detection system.

The Pentagon originally requested $15 million for Blackjack but the recommended additional funding raises the program’s total allocation to $125 million.

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