Presently, the military use of space is focused on geosynchronous Earth orbit inward, an arena of critical, multi-faceted spacecraft. Could cis-lunar space and the Moon itself become part of the military equation?
Credit: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Corey Hook




Worth a read:

The fact that the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) is even considering the idea of a space station in orbit is a pretty big deal — and an even bigger deal if it grows over time to accommodate a human crew.


Story by Theresa Hitchens at Breaking Defense. Go to:

Orbital outpost

According to the DIU posting, this “Orbital Outpost” involves the Department of Defense (DoD) seeking solutions for a self-contained and free flying orbital outpost. 

Credit: U.S. Air Force

The solution must be capable of supporting space assembly, microgravity experimentation, logistics and storage, manufacturing, training, test and evaluation, hosting payloads, and other functions.  Prospective bidders are invited to submit their proposals (“Solution Brief”) per the guidelines below.

Minimum Desired Specifications

 Internal volume: 1 m3

Payload capacity: 80 kg

Power (continuous): 1 kW

Communications: 100 kbps

Pressurization: 0 to 1 Atmosphere


Solutions must be established in low Earth orbit within 24 months of award and have guidance, navigation and control for sustained free-flight operations. Favorable characteristics include modularity and scalability.  This prototype effort does not include the cost of launch.

This effort will be multi-phased. The first phase will include engineering and design work. The subsequent phases will focus on the fabrication and test of the prototype, based upon the availability of FY20 funding.

Future capabilities

  • Desired future capabilities (available as options for initial or future implementation) include:
  • Common berthing mechanism
  • In-space assembly using one or more robotic manipulators and interfaces accepting standard flight fixtures
  • Temporary or permanent attachment to other similar modular outposts (manned or unmanned)
  • Servicing or re-provisioning to extend flight operations for a longer duration
  • Human-rating
  • Orbit transfer
  • Radiation hardening for beyond LEO applications
  • Other unique features contributing to national security or defense.

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