WASHINGTON (Agencies): The U.S. Space Force has achieved a significant milestone with the successful conclusion of the VICTUS NOX on-orbit mission. This historic mission has set a new standard for Tactically Responsive Space (TacRS) by demonstrating an end-to-end capability to rapidly respond to adversary aggression.

  • Mission Phases: The VICTUS NOX team seamlessly executed each phase of the mission: Build, Hot-Standby, Activation, Alert, Launch, Initialization, and On-orbit Operations. From the time the mission was conceived, the team demonstrated remarkable agility and responsiveness.
  • Build Phase: The spacecraft was pulled from an active production line and modified with an additional space domain awareness (SDA) payload. All normal processes associated with satellite launches were completed, including spectrum assignment, authority to operate approvals, and certifications.
  • Activation and Alert Phases: Within 57 hours of receiving the order, the team transported the spacecraft from the factory to the launch site payload processing facility, fueled the vehicle, and conducted final testing. On September 13, 2023, with no prior notice, the Space Force provided the final orbit parameters and ordered the team to launch.
  • Launch and Initialization Phases: The mission met its goal of being ready for launch within 24 hours. Liftoff occurred at the first available launch window, just 27 hours after receipt of the launch order. After reaching orbit, it took only 37 hours to complete the Initialization Phase, beating the 48-hour goal.
  • Tactically Responsive Space: General Chance Saltzman, Chief of Space Operations, emphasized the significance of this mission during a fireside chat last October. The ability to respond rapidly to irresponsible behavior on-orbit directly connects the response to the aggression.

The VICTUS NOX mission not only demonstrates technical prowess but also lays the groundwork for future TacRS operations. As the U.S. Space Force continues to enhance its capabilities, this achievement reinforces the importance of agility and readiness in the space domain.

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