- Laurence Russell
US Space Force selects Firefly Aerospace for ‘Rapid Space’ VICTUS NOX mission
Firefly Aerospace, Inc, announced today that the company has been selected by The US Space Force’s (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC) to provide launch services for SSC’s VICTUS NOX mission. The effort was awarded as the Tactically Responsive Space (TacRS-3) Launch Service Task Order under the Orbital Services Program 4 (OSP-4) Contract.
The VICTUS NOX mission will demonstrate an end-to-end Tactically Responsive Space capability, including the launch segment, space segment, ground segment, and on-orbit operations. VICTUS NOX will perform a Space Domain Awareness (SDA) mission from Low-Earth Orbit (LEO).
“We are honoured to be chosen by Space Force for this important national security mission,” said Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly Aerospace. “Now more than ever, our country needs the ability for quick response capabilities to combat threats in space. Our Alpha launch vehicle is designed to drive affordable, rapid access to space. We look forward to working with Lt. Col. Justin Beltz and Lt. Col. MacKenzie Birchenough along with their experienced team at Space Force to help bring this innovation to the national security community.”
“This end-to-end mission will demonstrate the United States’ ability to rapidly place an asset on-orbit when and where we need it, ensuring we can augment our space capabilities with very little notice,” said Lt. Col. MacKenzie Birchenough, Materiel Leader at SSC’s Space Safari.
The goal of the program is to bolster the United States “responsive space” capabilities allowing for the fast deployment of satellites during a conflict.
“Space Systems Command is committed to addressing threats in the space domain and VICTUS NOX will provide space capabilities on an unprecedented timeline,” stated Lt. Col. Justin Beltz, SSC’s Small Launch and Targets Division, chief. “The United States’ launch industry is the envy of the world, innovating to bring more speed and more capability at a lower price.”
This award comes on the heels of Firefly’s first successful orbital flight. Alpha Flight 2 mission successfully launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base on October 1st. The company is also preparing for their upcoming Alpha Flight 3 mission currently being integrated to carry the NASA VCLS Demo 2 payload.