From coast to coast, Defense Logistics Agency Energy is helping launch rockets and equipment into space.
The DLA Energy Aerospace team fueled two space missions this month: the first launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, tested the U.S. Space Force Rapid Launch Capability and another from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, sent National Reconnaissance Office satellites into orbit.
"It's always something to be proud of when we support the launch of a rocket, but these missions were significant milestones as our nation continues to work to deter threats on the ground, in the air, on the sea and in space," said Steve Nichols, DLA Energy Aerospace Energy director of Customer Operations.
On Sept. 14, DLA Energy provided high purity hydrazine, gaseous nitrogen and gaseous helium for Vandenberg's launch of a Space Force vehicle on Firefly Aerospace's Alpha rocket.
Setting a new record for responsive space launch, Firefly completed all final launch preparations within 24 hours and launched at the first available window — just 27 hours after receipt of launch orders. According to the Space Force, the mission, known as VICTUS NOX, Latin for conquer the night, aims to reduce timelines throughout every aspect of a space mission.
"The success of VICTUX NOX marks a culture shift in our nation's ability to deter adversary aggression and, when required, respond with the operational speed necessary to deliver decisive capabilities to our warfighters," said Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein, commander of Space Systems Command. "This exercise is part of an end-to-end tactically responsive space demonstration, which proves the United States Space Force can rapidly integrate capabilities and will respond to aggression when called to do so on tactically relevant timelines."
On Sept. 10, DLA Energy provided high purity hydrazine and rocket propellant kerosene for United Launch Alliance's Atlas V launch. The rocket carried the National Reconnaissance Office SILENTBARKER/NROL-107 multi-payload mission, a joint NRO and Space Force mission to meet Defense Department and intelligence community space protection needs.
"DLA Energy is proud to leverage our unique logistics capabilities and specialized contracting expertise in supporting a growing Defense Department and whole-of-government space mission," Nichols said.
As DOD's integrated materiel manager for space and space-related products since 2001, DLA Energy has provided fuel sources for a variety of DOD, federal, commercial and research missions.