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

 SL-9 Patch

October 23, 2014

Mission Objective

The third space launch in a series of technology maturation missions for NASA's Flight Opportunities Program. The mission objectives were to fly four (4) technologies into the micro-gravity environment of space and return the payloads to the Principle Investigators undamaged. All mission objectives were met.

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. The payload section landed safely within the designated area on White Sands Missile Range and was returned to Spaceport America within a few hours of the launch. 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.

SL-9 Launch Vehicle

Above Photo: The SpaceLoft 9 rocket stands ready for launch at Spaceport America.  (photo credit, Lt. James A. Keaney, Civil Air Patrol PAO) 


SL-9 Launch

Above Photo: Just after sunrise the SpaceLoft 9 rocket is Launched from Spaceport America (photo credit, Todd Dickson, Las Cruces Bulletin) 

SL-9 view from space

Above Photo: The SpaceLoft 9 rocket view from space (photo credit, UP Aerospace, Inc.) 

SL-9 booster separated

Above Photo: The booster assembly succesfully separates from the payload bay just before entry into the earths atmosphere.  (photo credit, UP Aerospace, Inc.) 

  SL-9 during re-entry

Above Photo: Re-entry over White Sands Missile Range (photo credit, UP Aerospace, Inc.) 

Main chute deployed  

Above Photo: The main parachute fully deployed (photo credit, UP Aerospace, Inc.) 

SL-9 landing location

Above Photo: The SpaceLoft 9 touches down on White Sands Missile Range (photo credit, UP Aerospace, Inc.) 

Recovery Team  

Above Photo: UP Aerospace Founder Jerry Larson (Left) and Paul De Leon from NASA's Flight Oportunities Program (Right) at the SpaceLoft-9 recovery site (photo credit, UP Aerospace Inc.) 

SL-9 Payload Return 

Above Photo: The Payload Section is returned to the launch site at Spaceport America (photo credit, Lt. James A. Keaney, Civil Air Patrol PAO)

 SL-9 Post Flight 

Above Photo: UP Aerospace technicians work to remove the payloads from the front end of the SpaceLoft rocket at Spaceport America. (Image courtesy: Lt. James A. Keaney, Civil Air Patrol PAO)