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UP Aerospace News

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December 13, 2022 Two-Segment Motor Successfully Fired for Stage One of the Spyder Mission
(Denver, Colorado) - UP Aerospace conducted a two-segment motor static demonstration test for stage one of the Spyder launch vehicle at Spaceport America on December 13, 2022. The test validated all structural components during the full duration of the 24 second burn. The test also successfully demonstrated the efficacy of the patented Solid Rocket Motor Manufacturing Method. This successful test paves the way for the six-segment static test scheduled for later this year. The next static test is the final critical milestone for the first Spyder launch.

November 24, 2022 Successful Spyder Separation System Test
(Denver, Colorado) -  On November 24, 2022 UP Aerospace successfully completed a full scale separation system test at Spaceport America for the upcoming mission for Los Alamos Nation Laboratory. The end to end separation test was conducted utilizing flight avionics to initiate separation.


August 11, 2021 SpaceLoft Rocket Launch for Los Alamos National Laboratory
(Denver, Colorado) - On August 11, 2021 UP Aerospace successfully launched the SL-16 rocket at 8:44 am local time from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The rocket was launched at the beginning of an incredibly narrow one minute launch window in order to be in line with a real time overpassing satellite communication. This was the third successful separation and re-entry mission by UP Aerospace. The vehicle was successfully recovered on White Sands Missile Range after touchdown. 

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May 25, 2021 NASA Selects UP Aerospace for TechRise Student Challenge Launch
Denver, Colorado) - UP Aerospace has been selected as a launch provider by NASA Flight Opportunities Program for the NASA TechRise Student Challenge.  Students can design an experiment to be flown into space on a suborbital SpaceLoft rocket.  There will be a $1,500.00 award for each winning school to develop the proposed experiment a well as an assigned payload bay on a NASA sponsored mission to space.  The launch is expected to be flown in 2023. 

To learn more visit:

November 22, 2019 Successful SpaceLoft Launch for NASA 
Denver, Colorado) - On Friday November 22, 2019 UP Aerospace successfully launched the SL-14 rocket at 8:19 am local time from Spaceport America in New Mexico.  The mission carried a record setting six experiments on board.  Four of the payloads were provided by NASA's Flight Opportunities program under UP Aerospace’s 5 year IDIQ contract.  The launch was funded under a NASA Tipping Point contract awarded to UP Aerospace in 2017 to develop technologies for the orbital Spyder launch vehicle.  The vehicle was successfully recovered on White Sands Missile Range an hour after the launch and the payloads were returned to the launch site for data evaluation the same day. 


SpaceLoft-14 launch November 22, 2019 at 8:19 am from Spaceport America, New Mexico

September 17, 2018 UP Aerospace Conducts Two Launches Back-To-Back in 5 days for NASA
(Spaceport America, New Mexico) - On Monday September 17, 2018 UP Aerospace successfully launched the SL-11 rocket at
8:09 am local time from Launch Pad One located at Spaceport America in New Mexico.  The mission carried 5 experiments for NASA's Flight Opportunities program and reached a maximum altitude of 357,800 feet (109.1 km) during its sub-orbital flight.  The payloads included those from Controlled Dynamics Inc., Polytechnic University of Catalonia Spain, FAA, and two NASA experiments.  The mission also included the first successful test flight of UP Aerospace's cold gas attitude control system that is being developed for the orbital launch vehicle called Spyder. 
Click here for Space News Article


SpaceLoft-11 Lifts off on its mission for NASA 5 days after the successful launch of the SL-12 mission

September 12, 2018 UP Aerospace launches and deploys NASA's ADEPT Spacecraft
(Spaceport America, New Mexico) - On Wednesday September 12, 2018 UP Aerospace successfully launched the SL-12 rocket three minutes into the planed launch window at 7:33 am local time.  The NASA ADEPT SR-1 re-entry test vehicle separation occurred at 95 seconds from liftoff and was tracked by radar.  The ADEPT separation was the the second successful use of the UP Aerospace Automated Payload Deployment System (APDS). The payload section reached a maximum altitude of 354,000 feet (108 km) MSL. The drogue and main parachute recovery systems deployed resulting in a nominal landing on White Sands Missile Range. The drogue and main parachute for the nose fairing section also deployed normally and was recovered for reuse on a future mission.  UP Aerospace is on track to conduct a second launch in 5 days for NASA on September 17.  
(Click here for more about the NASA ADEPT vehicle)


SpaceLoft-12 on Launch Pad One two hours before liftoff.  The ADEPT spacecraft and separation systems are located behind the American Flag (photo credit: NASA)

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July 31, 2018 UP Aerospace is Awarded NASA Flight Opportunities 5 Year Launch Contract
(Denver, Colorado) - NASA awarded UP Aerospace with its third IDIQ contract to conduct sub-orbital launches using the proven and reliable SpaceLoft launch platform.  UP Aerospace has conducted a total of 7 successful launches for NASA under the Flight Opportunities program since 2012.  This third contact award has a period of performance of 5 years and will continue the legacy of launching complex custom missions for the agency.  Press Release

October 24, 2017 State-of-the-Art Solid Rocket Motor Development and Manufacturing Facility Completed at Spaceport America
(Spaceport America, New Mexico) - UP Aerospace Inc. and Cesaroni Aerospace teamed to create a state-of-the-art solid rocket motor manufacturing and test facility at Spaceport America, New Mexico. The project was completed in under 1 year with the culmination of three full scale SpaceLoft solid rocket motor static test firings. The tests were conducted to verify new high-performance motor casing and insulation manufacturing techniques, and validate the automated, remotely controlled propellant mix, and cast processing facilities. The new facility, called the Space Propulsion Center (SPC), is co-owned and operated by the two companies and is located at Spaceport America adjacent to the UP Aerospace Sub-Orbital Space Launch Complex. The new capability was created in part to support propulsion development of the UP Aerospace Spyder orbital launch vehicle.  
Press Release

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SpaceLoft Rocket Motor Qualification Static Test Conducted October 9th, 2017 at the Space Propulsion Center (SPC), Spaceport America, NM

November 6, 2015 SpaceLoft-10 mission successfully deploys NASA re-entry research capsule

(Spaceport America, New Mexico) On November 6, 2015 at 8:01 a.m. MT UP Aerospace launched the 10th SpaceLoft rocket and the 4th mission for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. The mission marked the debut of UP Aerospace’s new Automated Payload Deployment System (APDS). At 60 seconds into the flight the system successfully released the nose fairing and ejected the 11 pound re-entry capsule named Maraia that was designed and built by NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center. Maraia was designed to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere independent of the launch vehicle to test controllability at Mach numbers reaching 3.5. The remainder of the vehicle contained three other experiments by NASA’s AMES Research Center, Purdue University, and New Mexico State University.  The SpaceLoft-10 mission reached an altitude of 396,405 feet on its 18 minute sub-orbital launch into space.  The SpaceLoft-10 vehicle was recovered on White Sands Missile Range for re-use on future missions.  For more information on this mission for NASA click here.


NASA Maraia spacecraft separation as viewed from launch vehicle (click here or on image to watch video)

October 23, 2014 UP Aerospace completed the 3rd fully manifested flight for NASA

(Spaceport America, New Mexico) On October 23, 2014 at 7:33 a.m. MT UP Aerospace successfully launched SpaceLoft 9 into space for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, marking the third fully manifested flight for the FOP program. This mission set a new altitude record at Spaceport America achieving an altitude of 77.25 miles. Paul De Leon the Project Engineer for the Flight Opportunities Program stated, “We are very happy to have completed another successful flight with UP Aerospace, in which four developing technologies have been tested and exposed to weightlessness in space. These experimental technologies are in the process of maturation to eventually be utilized in future orbital and deep space missions. UP Aerospace has proven to be a reliable commercial suborbital launch service provider for the NASA Flight Opportunities Program. I’m looking forward to our next launch scheduled for the middle of next year.”

November 12, 2013: SpaceLoft 8 successfully launched for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program

(Spaceport America, New Mexico) UP Aerospace launched SpaceLoft 8 on November 12, 2013 at 9:15 a.m. MT. This mission was for NASA funded research technologies, chosen by the Flight Opportunities Program as part of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. The vehicle flew to 385,000 feet providing the experiments with 3 minutes of micro-gravity. This mission is the second fully manifested space flight for the Flight Opportunities Program. "The SL-8 launch was a complete success," said NASA campaign manager Paul De Leon at NASA's AMES Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "The UP Aerospace team provided an outstanding service, and the launch vehicle performed exceptionally well, just as planned. All of the payload teams were extremely happy with the flight and anxious to get their payloads back and analyze their data." Jerry Larson, President of UP Aerospace added, “we continue to develop new on-board technologies with increased versatility to open up new opportunities for future missions.”

June 21, 2013: UP Aerospace successfully launches SpaceLoft 7 for NASA

The SpaceLoft rocket lifted off at 7:57 a.m. (MT), on a suborbital mission carrying seven payloads for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. The seven 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. 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 space flight for NASA's Flight Opportunities Program. 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. Jerry Larson announced that, “UP Aerospace is looking forward to the launch of SpaceLoft 8 for NASA this fall.” The SpaceLoft 8 launch is scheduled for October 9, 2013. Jerry Larson said, UP Aerospace is already working the payload integration for this mission.

April 5, 2012: UP Aerospace Launches Payloads Into Space for the DoD and NASA Flight Opportunities Program

(Spaceport America, New Mexico) At 8:18 a.m. SpaceLoft-6 lifted off from Spaceport America making this the 6th space launch and the 10th launch overall for UP Aerospace. In an awesome display of space flight technology the vehicle reached an altitude of 385,640 feet, and returned from space landing successfully on White Sands Missile Range. SpaceLoft-6 carried payloads for The Department of Defense (ORS), as well as the first space flown payload for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. “The vehicle performed perfectly from liftoff to touchdown”, said UP Aerospace President, Jerry Larson. He added, “This is a proud day for us in being able to display the remarkable performance of the SpaceLoft vehicle with proven performance, precision, safety, and mission success.”

March 16, 2012: Department of Defense Sets Launch Date for SpaceLoft-6 mission

(Albuquerque New Mexico) The Department of Defense’s Operationally Responsive Space Office (ORS) located at Kirkland AFB has contracted a commercial sub-orbital launch service with UP Aerospace Corporation on their SpaceLoft™ XL rocket. The SpaceLoft™ XL launch vehicle is targeting 70 miles (112 km) in altitude and 33.7 miles downrange on a sub-orbital trajectory flight profile carrying multiple ORS payloads. Launches of SpaceLoft™ XL are conducted from Spaceport America’s Launch Pad One in New Mexico and recovered after landing from the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). The sixth launch of the SpaceLoft vehicle will be the first fully manifested DoD flight. The mission is currently proceeding on schedule for launch on 5 Apr 2012.

December 12, 2011: Lockheed Martin Selects UP Aerospace as a Subcontractor for the Air Force Reusable Booster System (RBS) Pathfinder Program

(Denver Colorado) Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force worth up to $250M to develop and demonstrate a sub-scale Pathfinder vehicle of the Reusable Booster System (RBS). Lockheed Martin awarded UP Aerospace a subcontract to support the RBS Pathfinder program in the areas of ground operations, and flight testing at Spaceport America in New Mexico. The first phase award is a 9 month requirements development contract with a follow on phase that is expected to span 4 years with multiple flight demonstrations beginning in 2015. The RBS Pathfinder is a reusable, winged, rocket powered, autonomous flight test vehicle that will be used to validate key technologies of the future full scale RBS.

December 6, 2011: Department of Defense Sets Launch Date for a Multi-Manifested Space Launch

(Denver Colorado) The U.S. Department of Defense Operational Responsive Space (ORS) office has selected March 7th 2012 for the launch of SpaceLoft-6. This will be the 6th launch of the SpaceLoft suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicle (sRLV) from Spaceport America and the 10th mission that UP Aerospace has conducted from the new spaceport in New Mexico since becoming operational in 2006. The sub-orbital mission is set to reach an altitude of 115 km and experience more than 4 minutes of micro-gravity time. The DoD plans to launch a full manifest of payloads on board the SpaceLoft that will include more than 7 individual payloads and experiments demonstrating rapid payload build and launch. “This launch will once again demonstrate that SpaceLoft is the leader in reliable, economical, sub-orbital vehicles on the market today.” said Jerry Larson, President and Founder of UP Aerospace.

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October 5, 2011: NASA Buys 2 Sub-Orbital Flights with Options for Additional 6 Launches

(Denver Colorado) NASA’s Office of Chief Technologist Launch Opportunities Program has awarded UP Aerospace a contract to integrate technology payloads and launch them into space on up to 8 flights using the company's SpaceLoft rocket. The launch contract is part of the 2 year IDIQ contract awarded to the firm on August 9, 2011. The contract reserves 2 SpaceLoft launches with options to purchase 6 additional flights in 2012 and 2013. The first flight for NASA is in the planning phase and is expected to be launched from Spaceport America in the 1st quarter of 2012. UP Aerospace has teamed with Schafer Corporation to provide NASA with comprehensive launch and payload integration services.

September 16, 2011: UP Aerospace is Awarded a DoD Sub-Orbital Launch Contract

(Denver Colorado) The US Department of Defense Operationally Responsive Space Office has awarded UP Aerospace a full manifested sub-orbital launch contract to be flown from Spaceport America in New Mexico. UP Aerospace will launch their sixth SpaceLoft for the DoD to an altitude of 115 km. This will be the forth mission flown by UP Aerospace for the DoD and the first fully dedicated launch for the defense agency. The official launch date for this mission is under negotiations with the DoD but is anticipated to be in the first quarter of 2012.

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August 9, 2011: UP Aerospace Wins NASA Launch Contract

(Denver Colorado) UP Aerospace was awarded a NASA contract to integrate payloads and launch them into space for the Office of Chief Technologist Launch Opportunities program. The NASA missions will be flown on board the proven SpaceLoft rocket and launched from the UP Aerospace launch complex at New Mexico's Spaceport America. Schafer Corporation is UP Aerospace's partner that will provide payload integration services for NASA payloads.

May 20, 2011: UP Aerospace Successfully Launches 5th SpaceLoft rocket into Space

(Spaceport America, New Mexico) At 7:21am MDT UP Aerospace launched the fifth SpaceLoft XL (SL-5) rocket into space with full mission success. A new altitude record was set for Spaceport America with the launch of SL-5 reaching 73.5 miles on its 13.5 minute flight into space and back. The space flown payloads were recovered on White Sands Missile Range and returned to the customers within two hours of launch, setting a new standard for commercial mission turn time.

March 28, 2011: New Reusable Recovery System Successfully Tested at Spaceport America

(Spaceport America, New Mexico) UP Aerospace successfully tests a new reusable recovery system hardware in preparations for the up coming SpaceLoft launch. The full scale parachute deployment system was dropped from a Army Helicopter at 14,000 feet above Spaceport America at 10am MDT. Twenty seconds after release the new deployment mechanism functioned as planned deploying the drogue and main parachutes systems. Final preparations for the May 20th launch of the SpaceLoft vehicle are currently underway.

December 10, 2010: UP Aerospace Awarded Contract for NASA Launch

(Denver Colorado) The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium selects UP Aerospace to launch the SpaceLoft rocket into space in support of the NASA Summer of Innovation contract. The launch is schedule for April of 2011. This will be the fifth SpaceLoft rocket flown from Spaceport America by UP Aerospace and the ninth launch operation that the company has conducted under contract.

May 4, 2010: Successful Launch Into Space

(Spaceport America, New Mexico) UP Aerospace's SpaceLoft number 4 (SL-4) lifted off from Launch Pad One at Spaceport America this morning on its way to a successful mission that reached 71.5 miles into space. The payload section and all of the customers payloads were successfully recovered on White Sands Mission Range and returned to Spaceport America with a Army helicopter within 3 hours of the launch. The SpaceLoft vehicle performance was nominal and all systems functioned as planned.

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