Author Topic: Firefly Alpha Flight 3: VICTUS NOX (TacRS-3) : VSFB SLC-2W : 15 Sep 23 02:28 UTC  (Read 45910 times)

Online Robert_the_Doll

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https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1702536387407339824

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Looks like Firefly’s Alpha rocket launched the Space Force’s VICTUS NOX mission last night:

Online Robert_the_Doll

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https://twitter.com/Fox10Ellen/status/1702520107136954613

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Our @FOX10Phoenix tower camera captured the #USSpaceForce launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. #VictusNox #Firefly #Phoenix #Launch 🚀

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/124970mev/status/1702449580594348472

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Firefly's Alpha rocket is set to launch for the first time in 2023, carrying the VICTUS NOX rapid response mission to low-Earth orbit. Launch is currently scheduled for 01:57 UTC.

Learn all about the mission, by Tyler Gray (@TylerG1998)

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2023/09/firefly-victus-nox/

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https://twitter.com/billmeco/status/1702528492368502896

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#FireFly #Alpha Launches VICTUS NOX, which translates to “conquer the night” in Latin —           will serve as a demonstration of the United States’ capability  to quickly place a satellite in orbit in response to a  national security threat. #vsfb  @Firefly_Space

https://twitter.com/billmeco/status/1702534349500076247

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#FireFly #Alpha Launches VICTUS NOX, which translates to “conquer the night” in Latin —           will serve as a demonstration of the United States’ capability  to quickly place a satellite in orbit in response to a  national security threat. #vsfb
@Firefly_Space

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https://twitter.com/hochdotco/status/1702517472497443021

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Nothing like seeing a @Firefly_Space launch from 40,000 feet.

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https://twitter.com/harry__stranger/status/1702520055832195176

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As we wait for confirmation on Firefly's VICTUS NOX mission, here's a satellite image showing Alpha laying horizontal at the pad on August 18th.

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Offline otter

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https://twitter.com/Firefly_Space/status/1702573114306015418

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We did it y’all! Today was an incredible success for the Space Force, the Firefly team, and our nation after nailing the #VICTUSNOX responsive space mission. We launched our #AlphaRocket and deployed the satellite at the target destination following a 24-hour notice.

Congratulations to the entire team! And thank you to our mission partners at @SpaceForceDoD, @USSF_SSC, @SLDelta30, and Millennium Space Systems for your continued support. #PartnersinSpace

Learn more here: https://fireflyspace.com/news/firefly-aerospace-successfully-launches-victus-nox-with-24-hour-notice/

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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Photo of payload deployment.

https://fireflyspace.com/news/firefly-aerospace-successfully-launches-victus-nox-with-24-hour-notice/

September 14, 2023
Firefly Aerospace Successfully Launches U.S. Space Force VICTUS NOX Responsive Space Mission with 24-Hour Notice
Firefly Alpha FLTA003 VICTUS NOX Launch

Ground-breaking operation showcases Firefly’s capability to rapidly launch and deploy a satellite, supporting critical national security missions

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif, – September 14, 2023 – Firefly Aerospace, an end-to-end space transportation company, today announced the company successfully launched its Alpha rocket and deployed the VICTUS NOX spacecraft following a 24-hour notice to complete final payload operations and mission preparations. Led by U.S. Space Force Space Systems Command’s (SSC) Space Safari Program Office and in close partnership with the Rocket Systems Launch Program, the mission advances the nation’s capability to rapidly respond to on-orbit needs during a conflict or in response to a national security threat.

“Today was an incredible success for the Space Force, the Firefly team, and our nation after nailing this complex responsive space mission,” said Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly Aerospace. “Our combined commercial and government team executed the mission with record speed, agility, and flexibility, adding a critical capability to address national security needs.”

Upon receiving the notice to launch and orbit requirements from the U.S. Space Force, Firefly completed all final launch preparations, including trajectory software updates, payload encapsulation, transport to the launch pad, mating to Alpha, and fueling, within 24 hours. Alpha then launched at the first available window, 27 hours after receipt of launch orders.

The flight began with a nominal countdown and liftoff at 7:28 p.m. PDT on September 14 and progressed seamlessly through each stage of flight, including stage one main engine cutoff (MECO), stage separation, and stage two ignition. Alpha then deployed the Millennium Space Systems satellite at the target destination in low Earth orbit. Firefly also successfully tested an Alpha stage two relight and targeted re-entry.

“I’m incredibly proud of this team for completing these critical mission milestones and successfully launching in a matter of hours rather than weeks or months in a typical operation,” said Adam Oakes, VP of Launch Vehicles at Firefly Aerospace. “As our third flight, this mission further validates Firefly’s technology rigor, passion, and dedication that’s required to prevail as the leading responsive launch provider for both government and commercial customers.”

“The success of the VICTUS NOX mission not only proves a key aspect of the United States’ TacRS capability but provides true utility to the warfighter,” said Col. Bryon McClain, Program Executive Officer for the Space Domain Awareness and Combat Power directorate, which oversees SSC’s Space Safari program office. “Working closely with our Assured Access to Space team and industry partners, the Space Safari team continues to demonstrate how TacRS enables us to quickly respond to urgent on-orbit needs.”

Building on today’s success, Firefly is ramping up Alpha production and testing for multiple upcoming launches, including missions in support of Lockheed Martin, NASA, the NRO, and more.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Congratulations on job well done. The industry needs an operational LV in this class.

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https://www.ssc.spaceforce.mil/Portals/3/Documents/PRESS%20RELEASES/Space%20Systems%20Command%20successfully%20launches%20VICTUS%20NOX%20for%20US%20Space%20Force%20Sets%20new%20Tactically%20Responsive%20Space%20record.pdf?ver=-g7LxAUdycc7u-WHkaMdCw%3d%3d

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Space Systems Command successfully launches VICTUS NOX for U.S Space Force: Sets new Tactically Responsive Space record

SPACE SYSTEMS COMMAND
Office of Public Affairs (SSC/PA) 483 N. Aviation Blvd.
El Segundo, Calif. 90245-2808
Date: Sept. 14, 2023
Contact: Media Relations Division Telephone: (310) 653-3145 [email protected]

SUMMARY: With the successful encapsulation and launch of VICTUS NOX, Space Systems Command achieves its goal of reaching launch-ready status within 24 hours of notice.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – In a major advancement of Tactically Responsive Space (TacRS) capabilities, Space Systems Command (SSC) and Firefly Aerospace successfully encapsulated a Millennium Space Systems-built space vehicle, mated it to Firefly’s Alpha launch vehicle, and completed all final launch preparations in 24 hours.

The mission, known as VICTUS NOX, successfully lifted off Sept. 14 at 7:28 p.m. PDT from Space Launch Complex 2 West (SLC-2W) at Vandenberg Space Force Base. Liftoff took place at the first available launch window, 27 hours after receipt of launch orders, setting a new record for responsive space launch.

“The success of VICTUX NOX marks a culture shift in our nation’s ability to deter adversary aggression and, when required, respond with the operational speed necessary to deliver decisive capabilities to our warfighters,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein, commander of Space Systems Command. “This exercise is part of an end-to-end Tactically Responsive Space demonstration which proves the United States Space Force can rapidly integrate capabilities and will respond to aggression when called to do so on tactically relevant timelines.”

Led by SSC’s Space Safari Program Office and in partnership with SSC’s Rocket Systems Launch Program, VICTUS NOX aims to reduce timelines throughout every aspect of a space mission, from acquisition through on-orbit operations.
Less than a year after awarding contracts to Millenium Space Systems and Firefly Aerospace, the teams entered a “hot standby” phase, awaiting notification from Space Force leadership to proceed. Upon activation, the space vehicle was transported 165 miles from Millenium’s El Segundo facility to Vandenberg Space Force Base where it was tested, fueled, and mated to the launch adapter in just under 58 hours, significantly faster than the typical timeline of weeks or months. With the launch time, date and final orbital parameters unknown, the team then stood on alert, awaiting the call to launch.

Now on orbit, the next objective is to initialize the space vehicle and begin operations in under 48 hours.

“We are thrilled with tonight’s successful launch. This mission highlights significant progress towards meeting emerging challenges in space,” said Lt. Col. MacKenzie Birchenough, Space Safari materiel leader. “While space has been viewed as a strategic theater for a long time, the advancement of TacRS capabilities represents a paradigm shift for the National Security Space enterprise. We are incredibly proud of the entire VICTUS NOX team for this huge accomplishment.”

The previous responsive space launch record was 21 days, set on June 13, 2021, with SSC’s launch of TacRL-2. VICTUS NOX and TacRL-2 are the first two operational demonstrations led by SSC’s Space Safari Program Office, which is responsible for responding to urgent on-orbit needs, to include acquiring, integrating, and executing TacRS capabilities.

Space Systems Command is the U.S. Space Force’s field command responsible for acquiring and delivering resilient war fighting capabilities to protect our nation’s strategic advantage in and from space. SSC manages a $15 billion space acquisition budget for the DoD and works in partnership with joint forces, industry, government agencies, academic and allied organizations to accelerate innovation and outpace emerging threats. Our actions today are making the world a better space for tomorrow.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/marco_langbroek/status/1702614820015526191

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6/x
An object has now been catalogued as nr 57861 in a 97.32 deg inclined, 476 x 531  km sun-synchronous orbit.
« Last Edit: 09/15/2023 10:38 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline edkyle99

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As we wait for confirmation on Firefly's VICTUS NOX mission, here's a satellite image showing Alpha laying horizontal at the pad on August 18th.
That image makes me wish they still had the old Thor sliding hangar (missile shelter) to cover the horizontal rocket while it is on hot standby!

Congratulations to Firefly on what was the first complete Alpha success.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/15/2023 01:15 pm by edkyle99 »

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Any indication of launch time to the second, or fraction thereof? ⏲️
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Offline Vahe231991

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Independent confirmation from Jonathan McDowell of a successful launch:
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1702671783445356645

Online GewoonLukas_

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CelesTrak has GP data for 1 object from the launch (2023-142) of Victus Nox atop an Alpha rocket from Vandenberg SFB on Sep 15 at 0228 UTC: https://spacenews.com/firefly-launches-space-force-victus-nox-mission/. Data for the launch can be found at: https://celestrak.org/NORAD/elements/table.php?INTDES=2023-142.

https://twitter.com/TSKelso/status/1702729268541923796

Edit to add:

Satellite now named "MILLENNIUM"
« Last Edit: 09/16/2023 06:34 am by GewoonLukas_ »
Lukas C. H. • Hobbyist Mission Patch Artist 🎨 • May the force be with you my friend, Ad Astra Per Aspera ✨️

Online Robert_the_Doll

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https://twitter.com/Firefly_Space/status/1702782757741502842

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As images of Firefly’s Alpha rocket soaring through the night sky were captured  across the southwest United States, a team of passionate Fireflies flawlessly executed a mission that has never been done before — launching after a 24-hour notice.

Here’s how the U.S. Space Force’s #VICTUSNOX team partnered with Firefly and Millennium to make it happen @SpaceForceDoD
 @SLDelta30
 #SpaceMicDrop

Offline edkyle99

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Some stills from the Firefly X video, for those of us old-school types.  ;)  Set up on the pad is reminiscent of the old Thor-Agena Corona days!

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/16/2023 02:14 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

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A couple of images of FLTA003 from Firefly's web site.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/19/2023 03:05 am by edkyle99 »

 

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