Firefly launches satellite after 24-hour notice

Firefly Aerospace successfully launched the military satellite VICTUS NOX into orbit. The company had only 24 hours to prepare for the launch.

Launch of the Alpha rocket with the VICTUS NOX satellite. Source: Firefly Aerospace

VICTUS NOX was launched as part of the rapid response program developed by the US Space Forces. Its purpose is to demonstrate the possibility of operational launch of spacecraft into orbit to replace destroyed satellites or strengthen existing groupings.

The implementation of the program was divided into several stages. During the first of them, Firefly delivered its Alpha rocket and the VICTUS NOX satellite built by Millennium Space Systems to Vandenberg Space Force Base, where the spaceport is located, within 60 hours after receiving the request.

At the second stage, after receiving a message with instructions of the target orbit, Firefly had to send the spacecraft into space within 24 hours. During this time, the company needed to make the necessary calculations, make updates to the software, install the satellite on the Alpha rocket, bring it to the launch pad, refuel, and then launch it into the first available launch window.

As a result, 27 hours passed between receiving the launch order and sending the spacecraft into space. VICTUS NOX was successfully launched into low Earth orbit. But the test did not end there. Now Millennium Space has to conduct a full check of all spacecraft systems, after which it will start photographing the Earth’s surface and transmitting images to Earth. According to the test rules, the company has 48 hours to complete this task.

Recall that in 2017, Ukrainian entrepreneur and philanthropist Max Polyakov actually saved the bankrupt Firefly, giving it a second life. The Ukrainian space heritage is still decisive in its history.

According to

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