Firefly and Millennium enter ‘hot standby phase’ for high-stakes Space Force mission


Share post:

The clock is ticking for Firefly Aerospace and Millennium Space Systems, with the two companies announcing today that they have entered the “hot standby phase” for an orbital mission for the U.S. Space Force.

The exact launch date of the Victus Nox mission, Firefly’s third mission using the Alpha rocket, is unknown. This is by design: The mission is part of the U.S. Space Force’s initiative to solicit rapid launch capabilities from commercial industry. The two companies will have virtually no notice and very short windows to get a satellite to the launch site and into space.

The mission, translated from the Latin for “conquer the night,” is aptly named. At some intentionally unknown time in the next six months, Space Force officials will issue an alert notification to the two teams. From there, Boeing subsidiary Millennium, which built the satellite for the mission, will have 60 hours to transport the spacecraft from Los Angeles to Vandenberg Space Force Base and integrate it with Alpha’s payload adaptor.

Once that work is complete, the Space Force will provide Firefly with a launch notice, starting a 24-hour clock. In that period, Firefly must update its trajectory and guidance software with the final orbital requirements, encapsulate the payload, transport it to the pad, attach it to the 95-foot-tall rocket and launch at the first available window.

Rapid launch is a capability that is “critical to our national defense,” Lt. Col. MacKenzie Birchenough, Materiel Leader for the Space Force’s Space Safari office, said in a statement.

“The accelerated build time the team demonstrated for VICTUS NOX, combined with the demanding launch and on-orbit goals, exemplifies our strong commitment to preserving our nation’s dominance and ability to freely operate in the space domain,” he said.

Firefly and Millennium won the contract for the Victus Nox mission in October, with Firefly’s award topping out at $17.6 million. The value of Millennium’s contract was not disclosed.

Source link

Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

Recent posts

Related articles

OpenAI is reportedly raising funds at a valuation of $80 billion to $90 billion

OpenAI is in discussions to possibly sell shares in a move that would boost the company’s valuation...

YouTube relaxes advertiser-friendly guidelines around controversial topics, like abortion, abuse and eating disorders

YouTube today announced an update to its advertiser-friendly guidelines that relaxes some of its rules around controversial...

FCC announces plans to reinstate net neutrality

Net neutrality is back on the menu, citizens. After a long, long battle ending in eventual defeat...

Sierra Space raises $290M at a $5.3B valuation

Sierra Space has raised $290 million in a Series B round to scale its Dream Chaser spaceplane...

TechCrunch+ Roundup: Slashing SaaS costs, FedNow’s ‘game changer,’ diverse cap tables

Software is a company’s third-largest expense, but because it’s spread across multiple departments, it’s the CFO’s responsibility...

Bootstrapping is cool once again

Bootstrapping, or funding your own company, has long been the first route many founders take when they...

Alchemist Accelerator’s latest startups range from sneakernet for energy to solar panel cleaning bots

This morning is Alchemist Accelerator’s demo day, and there are 22 companies making their debut across a...

Apple Podcasts adds original programming from Apple Music, Apple News+ and other apps

As Google is shifting its podcast listeners over to YouTube Music, Apple today announced an upgraded experience...