WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The U. S. Space Force successfully launched the Tactically Responsive Launch-2 (TacRL-2) mission on a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base on June 13 at 4:11 a.m. EDT, delivering a technology demonstration satellite to Low Earth Orbit.
Pegasus, the world’s first privately-developed commercial space launch vehicle, is an air-launched threestaged rocket carried aloft by Northrop Grumman’s specially modified “Stargazer” L-1011 aircraft. Shortly after its release from Stargazer, at approximately 40,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, Pegasus ignited its first stage, beginning its successful flight carrying TacRL-2 to its intended orbit.
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (SMC PR) — Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Commander, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), recently announced the establishment of the Space Safari Program Office within SMC’s Special Programs Directorate. Space Safari responds to high-priority, urgent space needs by rapidly acquiring, integrating and executing missions in support of USSPACECOM requirements and other combatant commander needs. These missions are not typically a part of an enduring program of record, but respond to high priority needs to deploy space systems quickly to respond to emerging threats.
As a high-speed integrator for specialized space missions, Space Safari operates with a unique mission focus, rapidly connecting space vehicles, specialized payloads, launch campaigns and ground systems, all while coordinating with the operational community and end-users. Similar to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Big Safari office, Space Safari uses mature technology and existing production lines to quickly repurpose and integrate space assets from multiple organizations.