NMSU’s physical science lab and Kratos team up to launch sounding rocket


New Mexico State University’s physical science lab and Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, Inc. collaborated to launch a science experiment for the U.S. Space Force Space and Systems Center launch company in from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.

This was the first launch of a sounding rocket vehicle as part of the Sounding Rocket Program-4 launch vehicle team. PSL provided the vehicle systems and avionics for the mission, and Kratos was responsible for system integration, interface management, and mission planning.

“We are delighted at PSL to be a part of this historic and important mission in support of the US Space Force and Air Force research laboratories at Wallops Flight Facility,” said Eric L. Sanchez, director of PSL. “The success of this mission is a testament to the strong working relationship we have with Kratos Defense and Rocket Support Services and an example of our commitment to excellence. Kratos and PSL both have unique abilities and our partnership makes perfect sense. “

The three-stage Terrier-Terrier-Oriole sounding rocket carrying the experiment from the Air Force Research Laboratory took off on March 3 and performed a nominal flight, successfully performing all the events of the experiment, en route towards a planned landing in the Atlantic Ocean.

“The NMSU Physical Science Lab and Kratos worked seamlessly together on this mission to provide the US Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center launch company with a telemetry package,” said Margaret Campos, director of the PSL Telemetry and Missile Systems division. “This effort was unique due to COVID-19 restrictions and staffing limitations. However, the small but efficient launch support team, led by Mark Stoner, provided a telemetry system that worked as intended for a successful mission. The PSL team looks forward to future collaborations with Kratos.

“The PSL Telemetry and Missile Systems technical team designed and manufactured the telemetry system for this mission,” Campos said. “The system included hardware from the PSL telemetry product line to collect real-time data measurements on board during flight. The PSL TMS division provided a team to support system integration, pre-launch testing efforts and launch support.

Author: Tiffany Acosta – NMSU


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