September 28, 2021 four cubesats contracted by U.S. Space Force’s Mission Manifest Office were successfully deployed into orbit. Adaptive Launch Solution in partnership with Parsons Government Services group and working with NASA, designed, integrated and tested the integrated flight system that was launched aboard the United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 launch vehicle from Vandenberg Space Force Base. The primary spacecraft the NASA-U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat 9 Observatory satellite.
“The U.S. Space Force and Launch Enterprise continually look for innovative opportunities to provide access to space,” said Col. Rob Bongiovi from the SSC Launch Enterprise director. “This successful collaboration with NASA highlights the tireless efforts of our organizations to develop and launch capability while maximizing the taxpayers’ dollars. “At the onset of the mission, the objective was to fly all mass simulators for a proof of concept, but we quickly identified real satellites to launch instead,” said Maj. Julius Williams, chief of the MMO. “Our ability to work with mission partners throughout the government and launch the most capability available into orbit is a key tenet of the Mission Manifest Office.”
Four MSVs sponsored by the Defense Innovation Unit, Air Force Research Laboratory, Missile Defense Agency, and NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) were flown and deployed from the L9EFS. The Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment (CUTE) from the University of Colorado at Boulder will study exoplanet atmospheres by monitoring them in the near-ultraviolet part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The Cusp Plasma Energy Detector (CuPID) from Boston University will collect data on interactions between solar wind and Earth’s magnetosphere. The spacecraft carries a novel wide field-of-view soft X-ray telescope to generate these first of their kind images. Two other cubesats in partnership with Defense Innovation Unit were also successfully deployed.