Vector Launch, Virgin Orbit, and VOX Space are the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) qualifying competitors for the Launch Challenge, which aims to enable the military to launch on-demand small payloads into space. DARPA awarded $400,000 to each competitor that completed the qualification phase, and now the competitors will attempt to launch to low-Earth orbit from two different locations in the United States in the coming weeks. Teams will receive $2 million for successfully delivering the payloads to orbit upon their first launch. For a successful second launch, the top three teams will receive either $10 million, $9 million, or $8 million depending on factors like mass, time to orbit, and orbit accuracy.
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