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Ellen Lord: DoD Should Consider Launch Service Capability for Small, Large Satellites

Ellen Lord, undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment at the Department of Defense, has said she thinks DoD should collaborate with launch service providers to ensure the availability of services to bring small and large satellites to space on short notice, SpaceNews reported Monday.

“I think we need to look at launch service capability for small sats as well as large,” she said Monday at the Pentagon.

Lord told reporters about DoD’s partnership with Virgin Orbit, a small satellite launch startup that spun out of Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Orbit received a contract in November 2017 to demonstrate its air-launched rocket system, LauncherOne, through DoD’s Space Test Program.

LauncherOne is set to launch in 2019 a small satellite for DoD through a Boeing 747 aircraft variant.

Lord also mentioned that the Defense Innovation Unit also works with Virgin Orbit’s Vox Space subsidiary, which offers engineering and mission management support services to government clients.

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