UP Aerospace MissionsWelcome to UP Aerospace Past Missions

UP Aerospace has been actively conducting space flown and prototype test flight launch services at Spaceport America since 2006. Our missions have encompassed a variety of clients ranging from government, aerospace industry, and private individuals. Below you will find a brief summary of each of our contracted missions listed in chronological order beginning with our most recent.

For more information about a particular mission and photos click on the mission title.


"Mission Success": SpaceLoft 9 sets new altitude record, returns payloads from space

October 23, 2014: The SpaceLoft-9 rocket lifted off at 7:33 a.m. (MT) on a suborbital mission carrying four payloads for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. All on board systems functioned as planned. A quick look review of the technologies flown onboard indicates that all the payloads functioned as expected during the 3 minutes of  microgravity time in space. The SpaceLoft-9 rocket reached the highest altitude flown at Spaceport America to date at 408,035 feet (124 km) above mean sea level.


SpaceLoft 8 Lifts-off from Spaceport America and lands successfully

November 12, 2013: UP Aerospace, successfully launched the SL-8 rocket at 9:15 am local time from Launch Pad One located at Spaceport America in New Mexico. The payload section reached a maximum altitude of 384,100 feet (117 km) MSL and experienced 3 mintues of micro gravity enviroment. The payload section was returned to the launch site with an US Army helicopter at approximately 11:30 am. Quick look data review showed that all payloads functioned successfully as planned.


SpaceLoft 7 successfully launched for NASA

June 21, 2013: The SpaceLoft 7 successfully launched into space making it the first fully manifested space flown mission for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. The execution of this mission is part of the contract awarded to UP Aerospace by NASA in 2011, to provide low cost commercial launch services to NASA.  The peak altitude for this mission set a new Spaceport America altitude record at 73.9 miles (119km).


UP Aerospace Launches Payloads into Space for the DOD and NASA (SpaceLoft-6)

April 5, 2012: In an awesome display of space flight technology SpaceLoft 6 carried experiments being conducted for the Department of Defense (ORS), as well as the first space flown payload for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. The successful flight of SpaceLoft 6 displayed the remarkable performance of this vehicle with proven precision, safety, and mission success.


NASA's Summer of Innovation Educational Launch (SpaceLoft-5)

May 20, 2011: UP Aerospace conducts its 9th contracted launch from Spaceport America. This was the 5th SpaceLoft rocket launch sent into space and the 3rd annual student educational launch sponsored by NASA and the New Mexico Space Grant. Vehicle lift-off occurred at 7:21 am local time from the UP Aerospace launch complex located at Spaceport America's vertical launch area. The vehicle performed a flawless mission reaching a Spaceport America record setting altitude of 73.5 miles (118km) into space. The educational launch was supported by a collaborative effort with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and the Department of Defense.


2nd Annual Student Educational and US Air Force Launch (SpaceLoft-4)

May 4, 2010: UP Aerospace successfully launched the 4th SpaceLoft Rocket 70 miles into space. The vehicle spent four minutes in the weightlessness of space before landing on the neighboring White Sands Missile Range. UP Aerospace delivered the payloads to their customers within three hours after a flawless launch from Spaceport America. This launch campaign to support educational initiatives was a combined effort between New Mexico Space Grant, UP Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, and the Department of Defense.


Lockheed Martin Reusable Rocket Plane Launch

October 10, 2009: This was the third in a series of demonstration launches for the aerospace giant Lockheed Martin. The successful launch was part of a rapid launch campaign that was completed in only a few days. UP Aerospace provided lean, low cost launch operations support for the highly successful Lockheed Martin flight. The vehicle was flown from the UP Aerospace Launch Complex located at Spaceport America in New Mexico.


MOOG-FTS "Midnight TestBed" Rocket Powered UAV Prototype Launch

August 4, 2009: UP Aerospace's reputation for low cost and fast turn operations captured the attention of aerospace legend MOOG resulting in a contract to launch the MOOG-FTS "Midnight TestBed" autonomous rocket propelled demonstration vehicle. The successful flight and contract was carried out in just a few months time providing research scientist at MOOG valuable data and insight into the guidance, navigation, and control flight characteristics of their prototype test vehicle. The vehicle was launched using the UP Aerospace remote launcher located at Spaceport America.


1st Annual New Mexico Space Grant Launch (SpaceLoft-3)

May 2, 2009: This launch of the SpaceLoft rocket was the 1st dedicated educational launch held at New Mexico's Spaceport America. The launch was paid for and sponsored by Spaceport America, Lockheed Martin, New Mexico Space Grant, and UP Aerospace. The launch provided the students of New Mexico with the opportunity to build, design, and launch their experiments. The Department of Defense Operational Responsive Space (ORS) office provided a secondary payload that flew onboard the SpaceLoft-3 launch vehicle.


Lockheed Martin Space Plane Prototype Launch

August 12, 2008: This is the second in a series of demonstration launches for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company that UP Aerospace was under contract to support. This launch was a non-public, unpublished event at the request of Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin is testing proprietary advanced launch technologies. UP Aerospace was contracted by Lockheed Martin to provide the launch services for the test flight including launch operations, Spaceport, and FAA launch approvals, and recovery of the vehicle.


Advanced Technology Demo Launch for Lockheed Martin Space Systems

December 19, 2007: Lockheed Martin contracted with UP Aerospace of Highlands Ranch, Colorado to provide launch operations for a small demonstration launch at Spaceport America. The launch of the research vehicle was provided by UP Aerospace's launch facilities and three man launch crew. All of the preparations, and the launch itself, were completed in record time from contract signing to liftoff in less than three months time.


First Rocket to Reach Space from Spaceport America (SpaceLoft-2)

April 28, 2007: SpaceLoft 2 was the first commercial rocket to reach space from Spaceport America reaching an altitude of 73 miles. The successful launch of SpaceLoft 2 received worldwide press due to the cremated remains on board of Mercury Astronaut Gordon Cooper and James Doohan, the actor who played Scotty on the TV series Star Trek. Also on board this mission were experiments from the University of Colorado in tandem with the NASA Space Grant and experiments from the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technologies (CCAT).


Spaceport America's Inaugural Commercial Space Launch (SpaceLoft-1)

September 25, 2006: This was the first UP Aerospace launch and the first commercial launch from Spaceport America in New Mexico using the companies newly completed launch complex. Thousands of people from around the world came to see this event.  The construction for Spaceport America had not begun, so most of the spectators for this historic event listened to the countdown on the radio and watched the launch from as far away as 20 miles.  After a nearly 7 hour delay due to a radar transponder issue the vehicle was cleared to launch and took off at 2:15 pm MT.