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Mandrake 2A, 2B

Mandrake 2 [SDA]

Mandrake 2 is a technology demonstration mission conducted under DARPA's Blackjack program consisting of two satellites.

The twin Mandrake 2 satellites will carry optical inter-satellite links for broadband data. According to DARPA these could form the basis of future optically meshed networks in LEO. The satellites were made in just nine months by Astro Digital with optical links from SA Photonics.

The launch was planned for early 2021 on the SpaceX multi satellite mission "Transporter 1". When the satellites were to be mounted on the payload stack, the deployment mechanism was accidently activated, which led to damage to both payloads. Likely the satellites will fly on a later launch.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: DARPA
Contractors: Astro Digital (bus); SA Photonics (payload)
Equipment: optical inter-satellite link payload
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Mandrake 2A - 2021 CC Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with (SpaceX Transporter-2)
Mandrake 2B - 2021 CC Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with (SpaceX Transporter-2)


Further Blackjack missions: