Oops butterfingers! Two DARPA Mandrake satellites are dropped during processing

by | Jan 7, 2021 | Satellites, Seradata News

Space News reports that two DARPA owned satellites Mandrake 1 and 2 have been damaged during processing.  The satellites were apparently dropped on 4 January at a satellite processing facility at Cape Canaveral while being loaded into a payload separation system which accidentally released them.  The satellites are part of DARPA’s effort examining technologies for the planned Blackjack surveillance missile tracking low Earth orbit satellite constellation. They were to have been launched into a Sun-synchronous low Earth orbit as two of the multiple rideshare payloads aboard the Falcon 9 launched Transporter-1 small satellite delivery system.

The extent of the damage has not been revealed but it is thought unlikely that the satellite will make the launch, currently set for 14 January 2021.

Artist’s concept of Blackjack low Earth orbit surveillance and missile tracking constellation. Courtesy: DARPA

 

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