In California, two space companies are ready for a very special test. The starting signal could come at any time for the US Space Force to launch a satellite into space and put it into operation within a few days. Firefly Aerospace announced this. With the mission called “Victus Nox”, the rocket manufacturer and the Boeing subsidiary Millenium Space are intended to prove that processes that normally take weeks and months can be completed in a few hours. The US Space Force research center commissioned both companies to transport a satellite into space in the spring, but the companies only found out the launch date and the desired target position in space shortly before the launch. Another satellite was converted for the mission.
Be able to react faster
With the mission, the US military wants to practice how to respond quickly to requirements in space. So far, space missions have required months and years of preparation, but with “Victus Nox” things should happen much faster. After the satellite has been ordered and the mission has been prepared, a maximum period of six months has now begun, during which the starting signal can be given at any time. Both companies are left in the dark about the exact timing. Once the SSC initiates the launch, there are 60 hours left to bring the rocket with the payload to the launch pad, refuel it and prepare it for launch. Firefly then receives the orbital data and must launch the rocket within 24 hours. Once the satellite is in space, Millennium Space has 48 hours to get it operational.
“Victus Nox” also has a logo
(Bild: Firefly Aerospace)
The mission is scheduled to start from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. A Firefly Alpha rocket will be used; so far there have only been two launches. The first in September 2021 was a failure, the second on October 1, 2022 worked, but because the rocket used did not reach the intended orbit, most of the satellites transported burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere a few days later. With “Victus Nox,” the SSC now wants to practice how a satellite could be quickly launched into space during a conflict or a threat to U.S. national security in the future. It can start at any time in the next six months, Firefly wants on X (formerly Twitter) inform about the developments.
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