US Space Force & Rocket Lab To Launch Experimental Satellite

The US Space Force planned to launch an experimental satellite (STP27-RM) on Thursday, July 29, 2021. The Launch was held at Launch Complex-1 in Newzealand. 

A live stream of the launch is to be watched at 2 a.m. ET ( 6 p.m local Newzealand Time) on Space.com and directly via the company’s website. 

It is among one of the US launches for research and development of satellites to low Earth Orbit. Rocket Lab Electron booster led the launch at Complex-1. They give this mission a theme: “It’s a little Chile Up Here”.

About Space Test Mission STP

The US Space Force aimed to test small satellites for the purposes of the Department of Defense (DoD). The Air Force Research Lab sponsored the satellite Launch known as Monolith. Monolith is an Air Force Research Lab program. It is about exploring the application of small satellites for DoD programs.

Rocket Lab Electron Booster will deploy the Monolith satellite program to low Earth orbit to analyze the feasibility of large satellites to be deployed. 

The Space mission STP27-RM was procured by the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program (STP) and the Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP). These both are part of the USSF’s Space and Missile Systems Center at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

The Air Force in connection with the Space test program has done several experiments. Now the launch through Electron aims at developing innovative measures in research. This is a further assessment in the systems of global positioning systems, meteorological satellites, satellite communication, and space domain awareness proficiencies. 

Read more: NASA’s Europa clipper mission to icy Jupiter’s moon.

Statement of Lt. Col. Justin Beltz

Lt. Col. Justin Beltz, the chief of the Space and Missile System Center (SMC) and target division of US Space force said in a statement that USSF ( US Space Force) looks forward to the space mission with Rocket Lab USA. This is about to demonstrate SMC’s continuous travel in innovation, flexibility and responsiveness. 

Rocket Lab’s Analysis on the Launch 

Rocket Lab officials have taken spacecraft launch examinations. According to their analysis: 

  • Spacecraft weight could create trouble after deployment due to the fractionated weight of the Sensor. They haven’t analyzed the Caft’s dynamic properties.
  •  This test would demonstrate the spacecraft’s altitude control after deployment of the Sensor. 
  • The satellite would be able to provide a platform to test future space protection capabilities.

“Research on smaller satellite buses aims at building future deployable sensors such as weather satellites. A step toward reducing the cost, complexity, and development timelines”, officials said in the Rocket Lab statement.

Rocket Lab is famous for its themes of space missions. The mission having code STP27-RM would follow a May 2019 Rocket Lab launch STP27-RD with a theme “That’s a funny looking Cactus”. For this mission Rocket Lab launched three experimental satellites for STP. 

Aims Of US Space Force  

According to Congress and the Pentagon, the US Space Force mission is based on two broad goals: 

  1. Defend the massive Satellite fleet and 
  2. Develop a unified Space Warfighting theory. 

There were mainly five military branches in  US . Trump administration in 2018 announced to form a Sixth branch of the military entirely focused on Space. 

The US space force has been working on these goals since 1982. The establishment of Global positioning system also goes to American Space Command. 

They have enabled a system to locate and detect missile launches and military movements through satellites. These steps  have bolstered the U.S. position as the leading military power in the world. 

The Launch of STP27-RM is among one of US Space Force mission. They aimed to develop a unified system of space military. 

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