Deployed from the Space Station.... was there a second pipe back to the Russians?
Years ago a group in the Air Force wanted to launch a small satellite. They had something like four million dollars to work with. They approached NASA and the officials there laughed. One said, “Four million? We can’t do a design study for that.” The AF ended doing the entire thing in house and on budget.
In general, government can’t do small projects like that one. Too many people are interested, not in the project, but in credit or directing money to their agenda. Few people know that before the Wright brothers, the government was attempting manned flight. The government spent a fortune, compared to what the Wright brothers spent. Weeks before the Wright brothers flew the government contractor, Langley, declared manned flight to be impossible.
As opposed to a drone?