The Virgin Orbit subsidiary, known as VOX Space, has been awarded a $35 million contract. The United States Space Force (U.S.S.F.) has awarded them with this contract. The U.S.S.F. Rocket Systems Launch Program (R.S.L.P.) office in Alberquerque unveiled the agreement on 10th April.
V.O.X. Space has been a provider of responsive and affordable launch services to the United States National Community. The United States Air Force (U.S.A.F.) scheduled to conduct its first satellite launch from Guam next year. For this launch, the U.S.A.F. will be using Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl, along with a modified Boeing 747 mothership. The mothership stated to carry a LauncherOne air-launched booster rocket.
This moves from the U.S. comes in the interest of the protection of their space interests. According to an interview with SpaceNews, U.S.A.F. Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Rose revealed that the launch details have all settled with Guam and the company’s space launch system. Also, A $35 million contract signed amongst them.
As per the contract, the U.S.A.F. will be launching three dedicated missions using the Launcher One rocket, delivering 44 small satellites into the lower earth orbit or L.E.O. Also, it has the responsibility of delivering multiple spacecraft for orbit for this mission. V.O.X. Space will be carrying all these spacecraft to the Department of Defense (D.O.D.) Space Test Program-S28(STP-S28).
Vox Space: Objectives
According to the officials at VOX Space, the goal of the STP-S28 mission will be focusing on advanced space domain awareness and enhanced communications. This will further be beneficial in Space Force’s space architecture. Simultaneously, multiple demonstrations of technology done into the Lower Earth Orbit (L.E.O.).
Mandy Vaughn, President of Vox Space, said that this move would more likely set a standard of flexibility in launch to the United Space National Security community. He further said that this mission would enable the United States to SpaceForce to execute tasks that are more tactically responsive.
This task will be the first under the Orbital Services Program-4(OSP-4)Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (I.D.I.Q.) contract because this contract will enable the U.S. military to rapidly acquiring the launch services. The mission conducted by Vox Space and Virgin orbit will use LauncherOne.
Also, there is no news regarding the official launch date, officials are confident about the first launch happening as early as October 2021. An industry innovation, international partnering, streamline procurement, rapid mission execution is some of the key highlights of the mission.
As per the reports, VOX Space and Virgin Orbit have successfully demonstrated the assemblies of all significant vehicles. So, The final preparation of the orbital launch demonstration expected to start soon.