Space Force’s speedy launch record clears way for bigger launches–faster – DNyuz

Space Force’s speedy launch record clears way for bigger launches—faster

Now that the U.S. Space Force has launched a satellite just 27 hours after receiving orders, industry says it can start sending even bigger payloads to space faster.

The “Victus Nox” mission, the Space Force’s effort to launch a satellite within 24 hours, lifted off Sept. 14. Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha launch vehicle took a small satellite built by Boeing-subsidiary Millennium Space Systems to low Earth orbit to provide space domain awareness data.

Bill Weber, Firefly’s CEO, said to reporters on Tuesday that this would allow for faster launches in the future.

“Nothing about what we did a week and a half ago was constrained by the size of the technology, either payload or launch vehicle. Weber stated that there is no reason for what we did to not be possible on a larger platform and with a larger payload.

The Space Force aimed to start operating the satellite within 48 hours of the launch–and officials said they successfully pulled that off, in 37 hours.

Victus Nox is part of the Space Force’s effort to achieve “tactically responsive space”–formerly known as Operationally Responsive Space–which will give the Pentagon the ability to quickly respond to threats in space or augment a degraded or destroyed U.S. space system, said Lt. Col. MacKenzie Birchenough, materiel leader for Space Systems Command’s Space Safari, a program office that opened in 2021 to respond to urgent “on-orbit” needs in space.

“We’ve shown with the Victus Nox launch that we can respond quickly to threats in space, be it to characterize or augment capabilities.

Birchenough said the successful Victus Nox launch will keep the Space Force on track to have this tactically responsive space capability by 2026.

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