When the Space Force’s Space Development Agency (SDA) launched 10 of 28 new satellites last week, it highlighted another victory for the new service. Space Force proved it could execute a speedy, agile procurement process capable of responding to evolving technology, and do it in just 30 months.
The quick turnaround started with solicitations in 2021 and in two-and-a-half years, the satellites went from authority to proceed and then on to launch. The acquisition model follows the Space Force’s plan for a hybrid satellite mix where large and small satellites launch into high and low orbits. The recent launch of the low earth orbit (LEO) satellites met the requirements of being cheaper and faster to produce, with capabilities similar to commercial satellites.