Home Tech The Space Force is planning a military exercise in orbit

The Space Force is planning a military exercise in orbit

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The Space Force is planning a military exercise in orbit

The Victus Haze mission is more complicated than Victus Nox and involves two prime contractors, two spacecraft and two rocket launches from different spaceports, all scheduled to occur on short timelines “to keep the demonstration as realistic as possible,” said one Space Force spokesperson. Ars.

“This demonstration will ultimately prepare the United States Space Force to provide future forces to combatant commands to conduct rapid operations in response to adversary aggression in orbit,” Space Systems Command said in a statement.

Faith in the commercial space

“This is a really significant operational demonstration that is really pushing the boundaries of technology and demonstrates a lot of faith in America’s industrial base,” Rogers said.

“It’s basically characterizing an unknown capability for the first time in low-Earth orbit,” Rogers said in an interview with Ars. “This comes with a lot of challenges: consistent communications coverage, how do you track an object in low-Earth orbit maneuvers with limited space domain awareness capabilities, what is the right level of autonomy and human interaction?”

True Anomaly’s first two Jackal satellites launched on a SpaceX rideshare mission last month, but the company announced a few weeks later that the two satellites would not be able to complete their planned rendezvous demonstration. This would have been a precursor to the type of activity that True Anomaly and Rocket Lab will demonstrate in Victus Haze.

Rogers said his company is working on two more demonstration missions that will fly before Victus Haze.

The Army’s Defense Innovation Unit awarded $32 million to Rocket Lab for its part of the Victus Haze mission. True Anomaly’s contract with SpaceWERX, the innovation arm of the Space Force, is valued at $30 million. True Anomaly is providing $30 million in private capital to help pay for the mission, bringing the total cost of Victus Haze to approximately $92 million. Space Safari, a division of Space Systems Command, oversees the entire project.

“We recognize the important opportunity to leverage innovations in the commercial space industry to counter China as America’s threat,” said Col. Bryon McClain, executive director of the Space Domain Awareness and Combat Power program at Space Systems Command. . “The United States has the most innovative space industry in the world. Victus Haze will demonstrate, under operationally realistic conditions, our ability to respond to irresponsible behavior in orbit.”

“Once the construction phase is complete, the mission will enter several successive phases that will include active standby, activation, alert and launch phases,” the Space Force said. “While this is a coordinated demonstration, each provider will be given unique launch and mission profiles.”

True Anomaly’s Jackal satellite, almost as big as a refrigerator, will launch on a “fast rideshare” mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida or Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, the US said. Space Systems command. This will most likely be a rideshare launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Launching on a rideshare comes with different challenges than launching on a dedicated rocket, as the Victus Nox mission did last year. .

True Anomaly says it could take its satellite out of storage and integrate it with a rocket in 12 to 84 hours, depending on the launch provider’s flight cadence. After the launch of True Anomaly’s Jackal, the Space Force will give Rocket Lab a 24-hour call to launch its satellite, similar in size to True Anomaly’s spacecraft, on an Electron rocket from New Zealand or Virginia. Rocket Lab’s launch must be timed precisely to allow its satellite to rendezvous with True Anomaly’s spacecraft in orbit.

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