A National Security Space Launch mission, called U.S. Space Force-44, aboard SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off Tuesday from a launch complex at Kennedy Space Center in Florida to deploy multiple satellites into geosynchronous Earth orbit.
The Space Force said Tuesday the Space Launch Delta 45 unit supported the USSF-44 mission, which included the Long Duration Propulsive EELV Secondary Payload Adaptor 2, Shepard Demonstration Mission and two space vehicles.
LDPE-2 consists of a Northrop Grumman-built ESPAStar satellite bus, which can transport up to six payloads. The spacecraft will field small payloads meant to advance space weather sensing and communications.
The Shepard Demonstration Mission intends to test new technologies to improve rendezvous and proximity operations.
USSF-44 is the first NSSL mission performed using Falcon Heavy and the second of three LDPE missions.