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92 SMT Magazine • July 2017 space market? Can they provide references? Do they have an engineering team to support obso- lescence issues, design changes, or testing con- cerns? Las Marias: What current technology trends do you see driving the military/aerospace in- dustry? McDonnell: Currently, many of our military customers are being awarded contracts for UAV type projects as well as jobs to update current, outdated military vehicles with newer technol- ogy. Another big project push within the field is for data recording assemblies that can store large amounts of data. Las Marias: What is your outlook for the overall military/aerospace industry market this year and the next? McDonnell: Incredibly positive. We have al- ready seen a large increase this year with our current customers, and we are working on other opportunities with new customers in this mar- ket. Las Marias: Thank you, Davina. McDonnell: You're welcome. SMT MIL/AERO ASSEMBLY SUCCESS DARPA has selected The Boeing Company to complete advanced design work for the Agency's Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) pro- gram, which aims to build and fly the first of an entirely new class of hypersonic aircraft that would bolster national security by providing short-notice, low-cost access to space. The program aims to achieve a ca- pability well out of reach today—launches to low Earth orbit in days, as compared to the months or years of preparation currently needed to get a sin- gle satellite on orbit. The program's success would revolutionize the Nation's ability to recover from a catastrophic loss of military or commercial satel- lites, upon which the Nation today is critically de- pendent. The XS-1 program envisions a fully reusable unmanned vehicle roughly the size of a business jet, which would take off vertically and fly to hy- personic speeds. The vehicle would be launched with no external boosters, powered solely by self- contained cryogenic propellants. Upon reaching a high suborbital altitude, the booster would re- lease an expendable upper stage able to deploy a 3,000-pound sat- ellite to polar orbit. The reusable first stage would then bank and return to Earth, landing hori- zontally like an air- craft, and be pre- pared for the next flight, potentially within hours. If successful, the program could help enable a commercial service in the future that could operate with recurring costs of as little as $5 million or less per launch—a small fraction of the cost of launch systems the U.S. military currently uses for similarly sized payloads. To achieve these goals, XS-1 designers plan to take advantage of technologies and support sys- tems that have enhanced the reliability and fast turnaround of military aircraft. For example, eas- ily accessible subsystem components configured as line replaceable units would be used wherever practical to enable quick maintenance and repairs. The XS-1 Phase 2/3 design also intends to in- crease efficiencies by integrating numerous state- of-the-art technologies, including some previous- ly developed by DARPA, NASA, and the U.S. Air Force. DARPA Picks Design for Next-Generation Spaceplane

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