HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force successfully launches satellites from New Zealand on Electron Rocket

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) --

The Air Force and its mission partners has successfully launched three Department of Defense research and development satellites on Huntington Beach, California-based Rocket Lab USA’s Electron rocket from Mahia, New Zealand, May 4-5.

The DoD Space Test Program, under Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center, procured the mission in partnership with Defense Innovation Unit as part of the Rapid Agile Launch Initiative. This initiative leveraged DIU’s Commercial Solutions Opening process to competitively and rapidly award DoD launch service agreements with non-traditional, venture-class companies. The Rocket Lab USA launch is one of several planned launches in 2019 that will demonstrate the ability of the emerging launch industry to provide responsive, affordable space access for the Air Force and DoD.

This was Rocket Lab USA’s fifth orbital mission overall and second orbital mission of 2019. The mission flew Rocket Lab USA’s heaviest payload manifest to date, over 180 kg (397 pounds), from Mahia, New Zealand to a circular mid-inclination orbit of 500 km (310 miles).

“I’m thrilled with this weekend's successful launch,” said Col. Ben Brining, DoD Space Test Program director. “Our mission with Rocket Lab USA demonstrated an exciting new way to accelerate space capabilities by partnering with the emerging small launch industry. This mission typifies the objectives of SMC 2.0.”

The DoD experiments onboard the Rocket Lab USA launch will demonstrate advanced space technologies and accelerate the fielding of future operational space capabilities.

The Space Plug and Play Architecture Research CubeSat-1, or SPARC-1 mission, sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate, is a joint Swedish-U.S. experiment to explore technology developments in avionics miniaturization, software defined radio systems and space situational awareness.

The Falcon Orbital Debris Experiment, or Falcon ODE, sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Academy, will evaluate ground-based tracking of space objects.

Harbinger, a commercial small satellite built by York Space Systems in Denver and sponsored by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, will demonstrate the ability of an experimental commercial system to meet DoD space capability requirements.

The DoD Space Test Program, located at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, is part of Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Development Corps.

The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the development of advanced space and launch capability and systems, global positioning systems, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
8 of the surviving #Apollo #Astronauts got together for the 50th anniversary of the #moonlanding. @NASAhttps://t.co/szPJHXupa1
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Gen. Goldfein, during his keynote address at the 2019 Chief of the Air Staff's Air and Space Power Conference said the follo…
.@WrightPattAFB opened a #cyberdefense facility for #USAF Life Cycle Management Center's Fighters & Bombers Directo… https://t.co/QibdORLX2q
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Our asymmetric advantage is represented in this room. It is all of us working together on a common cause. Great to see…
.@AFResearchLab supports @AFThunderbirds w/cutting-edge aerospace #technology. From G-suits, custom earpieces, fly-… https://t.co/HJ07fLg2aP
Operating from rough dirt strips, the #C130 Hercules is capable of transporting & airdropping troops & equipment in… https://t.co/c4vsC76vRX
Tune into @TheWilsonCenter July 18, 2019 at 8:05 a.m. (EDT) to hear #USAirForce Lt. Gen. Bussiere, @USNorthernCmd A… https://t.co/M2LTH8wpx5
.@DMAFB #Airmen traveled more than 1700 miles to save two critically injured Mexican fishermen onboard the Mazatun… https://t.co/tcTnNPC8Zj
RT @KadenaAirBase: #ICYMI: #TeamKadena will be activating a new special operations squadron for the operation and maintenance of the #CV22
#OTDIH, The B-2 Spirit's inaugural test flight happened from Palmdale to @EdwardsAFB, #California. The B-2 Spirit i… https://t.co/bS7ODGlxsP
.@HAFB #Airmen conduct #F35 missions while temporary assigned to @366FW. This is the largest off-station F-35A Li… https://t.co/KlbXq7jBLg
RT @MacDill_AFB: CSM John W. Troxell has our #TotalForce team here at MacDill feeling empowered! 😎💪 Thanks for visiting our service members…
.@NellisAFB plans to roll out shorts for maintenance technicians to wear on the flight line in the scorching Nevada… https://t.co/fcavaNG112
⚡️ “RAF Lakenheath breaks ground on future F-35 infrastructure” by @usairforce https://t.co/wiOjMMONZD
.@48FighterWing hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new #F35 infrastructure at Royal Air Force Lakenheath,… https://t.co/nOmLeR1egG
🗣Calling all #Milwaukeeans! #USAF Captain Curtis Hinca calls #Milwaukee home & is an Air Force Prosecutor… https://t.co/0LqvQdCUqm
RT @ValerieInsinna: Here’s a little bonus footage of @GenDaveGoldfein taxiing before his a ride in @FinnishAirForce F/A-18s. Read the story…
.@NellisAFB, Staff Sgt. Kenneth Delongchamp saved lives during the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.… https://t.co/GJygss6FBZ
RT @PACAF: Airmen from around the @usairforce tested themselves in the Small Unit Ranger Tactics course at the @25ID #LightningAcademy. #Ai
The latest roundup of the best #AirForce photos is out. See them here: https://t.co/0w3MNpiixe