Gen. John Raymond, chief of space operations and a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, said the U.S. Space Force is set to launch on Sunday, June 13, a monitoring satellite aboard the Northrop Grumman-built Pegasus XL rocket to provide “space domain awareness” as part of the TacRL-2 mission, SpaceNews reported Thursday.
Raymond said a new office called Space Safari developed the TacRL-2 satellite as a technology demonstration spacecraft for the service branch’s tactically responsive launch program.
“In less than a year they took satellite components off the shelf, married them up with a satellite bus that was off the shelf, and put them together in a space domain awareness satellite,” he said of Space Safari.
The Space Force awarded a $28 million contract to Northrop through the Orbital Services Program-4 to provide launch services for the TacRL-2 mission. A Lockheed L-1011 TriStar carrier aircraft will lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California to release the Pegasus XL rocket that will carry the satellite into low-Earth orbit.
If you’re interested in the U.S. military’s space technology procurement efforts, then check out the GovCon Wire’s Space Acquisition Forum coming up on Sept. 14. To register for this virtual forum and view other upcoming events, visit the GCW Events page.