Victus Nox payload is launched by Firefly Alpha in rapid response launch test

by | Sep 15, 2023 | Launches, Military space, Satellites, Seradata News

The Firefly Alpha rocket took off from Vandenberg, California, at 0228 GMT on 15 September in an unexpected launch. The vehicle’s third flight was part of a programme to demonstrate a responsive space mission launch for the US Space Force.

Firefly Aerospace released an image of the launch which took place just 27 hours after the original order. As part of the test the satellite payload, built by Millennium Space Systems, had to be prepared, encapsulated and loaded onto the rocket within 24 hours of notice and launched at the next opportunity.

A vapour trail was seen over the skies of California, in the first signs of the launch. The start-up also confirmed, with unmistakeable Texan vigour, that the Victus Nox satellite payload had achieved its planned Sun-synchronous low Earth orbit. In a statement on X (formerly known as Twitter), it said:

“We did it y’all! Today was an incredible success for the Space Force, the Firefly team, and our nation after nailing the #VICTUSNOX responsive space mission. We launched our #AlphaRocket and deployed the satellite at the target destination following a 24-hour notice.”

Victus Nox achieved orbit at 531 x 476 km at 97.3 degrees inclination.

Firefly Alpha launches Victus Nox rapid response mission. Courtesy: Firefly


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