Earlier this month, the U.S. Air Force embarked on the second major exercise of its new Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS). ABMS is the focus of a new strategy to modernize communications and decision-making across the entirety of the U.S. Armed Forces, centering around the concept of Joint All-Domain Command & Control (JADC2), or the convergence of strategic, operational, and tactical resources across all domains.
The space domain has become a key tenet of USAF’s ABMS planning, with a specific emphasis on enabling the responsive launch of small, inexpensive satellites. As has become clear, distributed networks of small satellites can be far more resilient than traditional architectures — and what's more, the ability to quickly and easily replace them if one fails serves as a strong deterrent to misbehavior in orbit.
To that end, as part of this on-ramp exercise, VOX Space simulated the responsive launch of a critical satellite for U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) on a very short call-up time, demonstrating the advantages of the company’s unique air-launched system.
Beyond the fact that it's just plane
cool, air-launch is attractive primarily because of its unparalleled flexibility. LauncherOne, unlike its ground-locked counterparts, operates independently of established launch ranges, and can therefore reach any orbital inclination on a schedule that makes the most sense. From orbit-raising to traffic jams at the pad, air-launch completely bypasses some of the most frustrating elements of traditional launch — and that's revolutionary for the U.S. government and other customers as well.
As VOX Space President Mandy Vaughn commented: “We’re extremely proud to have participated in this exercise alongside the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Space Force and partners around the globe... It’s also very motivating to see USSF commit to leveraging the commercial space market to create a more modern and robust space architecture. Our team is excited to lend a hand in helping to keep people safe back on Earth, even as the space domain up above grows ever more contested."