Launch Challenge finalists include mystery team

Rocket launches
An artist’s conception shows rockets lifting off from an oceanside launch complex. (DARPA Illustration)

Three teams have qualified to go into the rocket-launching phase of the DARPA Launch Challenge: Vector Launch, Virgin Orbit’s VOX Space subsidiary … and a team to be named later.

In making today’s announcement, DARPA said the third team asked to stay anonymous for a few months more, for competitive reasons. That mystery team will come out of stealth in advance of the fly-off, which has been shifted to take place early 2020.

Like previous DARPA competitions, the Launch Challenge is meant to boost commercial innovation in a technological area of interest to the military — in this case, rapid and flexible launch capabilities.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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