New Mexico State University’s Physical Science Laboratory and Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, Inc. collaborated to launch a scientific experiment for the United States Space Force Space and Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.
This marked the first launch of a sounding rocket vehicle under the Sounding Rocket Program-4 launch vehicle team. PSL provided the vehicle systems and avionics for the mission, and Kratos was responsible for system integration, interface management and mission planning.
“We are excited at PSL to be part of this historic and important mission in support of the U.S. Space Force and Air Force Research Labs at Wallops Flight Facility,” said Eric L. Sanchez, PSL director. “The success of this mission is a testament to the strong working relationship we have Kratos Defense and Rocket Support Services and an example of our commitment to excellence. Kratos and PSL both have unique capabilities and our partnership just makes sense.”
The three-stage Terrier-Terrier-Oriole sounding rocket carrying the Air Force Research Laboratory experiment lifted off March 3 and flew a nominal flight profile, successfully executing all experiment events, on its way to a planned splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.
“The NMSU Physical Science Laboratory and Kratos worked seamlessly together on this mission to provide U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise with a telemetry package,” said Margaret Campos, PSL Telemetry and Missile Systems division director. “This effort was unique due to COVID-19 restrictions and personnel limitations. However, the small but effective launch support team, led by Mark Stoner, provided a telemetry system that performed as designed for a successful mission. The PSL team looks forward to future collaborations with Kratos.
“The PSL Telemetry and Missile Systems technical team designed and fabricated the telemetry system for this mission,” Campos said. “The system included hardware from the PSL Telemetry Product Line to collect on-board real-time data measurements during flight. PSL TMS Division provided a team to support the system integration, pre-launch testing efforts and launch support.”