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DARPA picks Boeing to build XS-1 spaceplane
Posted: Sat, May 27, 2017, 9:52 AM ET (1352 GMT)
DARPA announced May 24 it has selected Boeing to develop a prototype reusable spaceplane. Boeing will build its "Phantom Express" for DARPA's Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) program and carry out a series of suborbital test flights in 2020. XS-1 is a program to develop a reusable first stage that, coupled with an expendable upper stage, can place payloads weighing up to about 2,200 kilograms into orbit for less than $5 million a launch. The program's requirements include the ability to carry out 10 flights in 10 days. Boeing's vehicle will use an Aerojet Rocketdyne AR-22 engine, based on the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) and using parts from older versions of the SSME. The DARPA award is valued at $146 million, with Boeing making an undisclosed contribution as part of a public-private partnership.
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