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Yesterday's SpaceX launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying MDA's Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor and SDA's Tranche 0. February 14, 2024

Yesterday, the United States of America disrupted Chinese invincibility of its undefeatable Hyper Sonic Glide Vehicle (HGV) that are uncontested in near space. In unified collaboration, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Space Development Agency (SDA) with SpaceX launched, multiple satellites into low-Earth orbit on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida  Among these satellites are two for MDA’s Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) and the final four for SDA’s Tranche 0 (T0) Tracking Layer of the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA). These satellites will now undergo initial testing and checkout by engineers from both MDA and SDA after safely reaching a stable orbit. This launch marks an incredible effort by all three teams to rapidly deploy the beginning of a two-year, on-orbit testing phase for the prototype systems well ahead of schedule. 

This necessary first step in HyperSonic Glide Defense deploys the sensor capability to identify and track threats with high sensitivity, as well as hold custody of and communicate that track information without data latency around the globe to networked satellites. This gives SPACECOM, NORTHCOM, and INDOPACOM the ability to rapidly close the kill chain by providing multiple firing solutions with high quality fire control data from space. Having this initial network of satellites gives our civilian and military leadership advanced warning on incoming Hypersonic threats for the entirety of North America and the Pacific. This rapid deployment of the first of hundreds of satellites for Hyper Sonic Glide now sets the winning pace, standard, and bar for aggressive development and deployment schedules in this decade for HGV effectors. This marks the first major step to contesting the dominance of the Chinese Hyper Sonic Glide Vehicles in near space. It is now time to move rapidly and disruptively within this decade and by 2027 to meet and beat the Near Space Domain threat. 

Congratulations to the men and women who diligently sacrificed effort and time for the success of this launch yesterday with MDA, SDA, SpaceX, and all of the industry who supported this mission.

Watch the launch here

Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.