SpaceLoft 7 successfully launched for NASA (SL-7)


June 21, 2013

Mission Objective
SpaceLoft 7 is the first suborbital rocket launch to carry multiple space technology payloads 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. This mission marks the first fully manifested flight for NASA and the first space flight for the Flight Opportunities Program.

The SpaceLoft rocket lifted off at 7:57 a.m. (MT), on a suborbital mission carrying six payloads for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. The six payloads represent experiments to develop and advance future technologies. Additionally, New Mexico Space Grant Consortium flew educational experiments representing students from high school through Universities. Also on board were Celestis Memorial Spaceflight Capsules, launching a symbolic portion of cremated remains of 36 individuals on a final mission into space. During the post flight press conference, Jerry Larson, President of UP Aerospace stated, “This mission was a complete success where all systems performed perfectly.” He also commended NASA for paving the way for NASA’s use of commercial launch services.

 SL-7 Launch Crew

Above Photo: The SpaceLoft 7 mission launch crew working through countdown proceedures the morning of June 21, 2013.  In the forground is Douglas (Dougal) Maclise and Paul DeLeon from NASA representing the payloads (Image courtesy: Krista Minor, UP Aerospace Inc.)

Launch Crew

Above Photo: With the countdown clock on hold the launch crews take a short break while a small storm cloud passes over the launch site.  Left to right, Dougal Maclise (NASA), Dr. Dan Hanle, and Jerry Larson of UP Aerospace. (Image courtesy: Krista Minor, UP Aerospace Inc.)

Jerry Larson and Broden

Above Photo: UP Aerospace Launch Conductor and President Jerry Larson is congratulated by his grandson Broden Tatara after the successful launch of SpaceLoft 7 mission for NASA's Flight Opportunities Program. (Image courtesy: Krista Minor, UP Aerospace Inc.)

Payload Recovery

Above Photo: Two hours after launch the payload for SpaceLoft 7 is returned to the launch site with a Army Helicopter.  From Left to right, Jim Hoffman, Jerry Larson, Brian McCormick, and Paul DeLeon (Image courtesy: Krista Minor, UP Aerospace Inc.)