New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced a successful launch of a test flight vehicle for Lockheed Martin by UP Aerospace from Spaceport America on Saturday, October 10. The brief test flight was a non-public, unpublished event at the request of Lockheed Martin, who is testing proprietary advanced launch technologies.
“Saturday’s launch successfully lifted off at 9:45 a.m. during our four-hour launch window,” said UP Aerospace President Jerry Larson.
“This is our third launch for Lockheed Martin from Spaceport America, which is proving to be an ideal location for supplying low-cost, fast-turnaround launch operations.” UP Aerospace plans to double its number of customer launches from Spaceport America to six or more in 2010 as demand for the company’s services increases.
The latest launch represents yet another successful launch from Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.
NMSA Executive Director Steve Landeene said, “We are extremely pleased to host another launch by UP Aerospace, the third this year, which continues to set the precedent for safe, practical commercial spaceflight at Spaceport America.”
Earlier this year, UP Aerospace provided services for the New Mexico Education Launch on May 2, an event sponsored by the NMSA and the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium. On August 4, UP Aerospace had a successful launch for Moog-FTS, and Saturday’s launch was the third. UP Aerospace first launched from Spaceport America in September 2006.
Currently under construction, Spaceport America is the world’s first purpose-built commercial space facility. Spaceport America has been working closely with leading aerospace firms such as Virgin Galactic, Lockheed Martin, Moog-FTS, UP Aerospace, and Armadillo Aerospace to develop commercial spaceflight.
Spaceport America’s 10,000-foot long runway is now under construction and is expected to be complete by late summer 2010 with the Terminal Hangar Facility projected to be complete by early 2011.