A Space Force of the United States used a Pegasus XL rocket, from the aerospace products company Northrop Grumman, to launch a secret satellite. The objective of the mission is, according to the military, to increase the “awareness of the domain of space”, which can be understood as the detection of artificial objects in orbit.

The rocket was shipped from a Northrop Grumman L-1011 Stargazer plane that took off from the Space Force air base in Vandenberg, located in Santa Barbara, California.


Air base officials confirmed to the Space.com that the mission was a success, in a note that was also shared on the force's fan page on Facebook.

Launch Complex at US Space Force Vandenberg Base
Rocket was launched from a plane that departed from Vandenberg air base. Credit: US Space Force

The mission was named Tactically Responsive Launch-2 (TacRL-2), or, Tactically Responsive Launch, in free translation. It is part of a program released by the Space Force in its 2019 biennial report.

At the time, the military claimed to be "developing a strategy with a responsive launch capability." Also, that they would do so "through the concession of Pegasus XL rocket launches to Northrop Grumman."

“Team V successfully launched the Tactically Responsive Launch-2 mission. A demonstration of speed, agility and flexibility in space launch,” Vandenberg officials wrote in a statement. "Showing that space assets can be put into orbit faster than standard schedules, this launch showcases Team V's talent, dedication and flexibility."

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Because it is a secret satellite, the Space Force and Northrop Grumman did not broadcast the launch via a live broadcast, as with the launches of the NASA, For example.

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