UP Aerospace Launches SpaceLoft XL Rocket From Spaceport America

UP Launch from SA
Spaceport America, NM (NMSA PR) – New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced the launch today of the second NASA “Flight Opportunities Program” rocket from Spaceport America. The public launch of SpaceLoft™ XL 8 (SL-8), which was designed to reach sub-orbital space, took place this morning from Spaceport America’s Launch Complex-1. Today’s liftoff marks the 20th launch at Spaceport America and the 12th flight conducted by UP Aerospace, a long-term spaceport long term customer.

The successful launch of NASA’s SL-8 commercial-space, research payload rocket took place at approximately 9:15 AM (MDT), which was within the dedicated 2.25-hour launch window, and flight data indicates the rocket attained a maximum altitude of approximately 116 km or 72.2 miles. The parachute recovery system brought the SpaceLoft™ rocket and its payload safely back and it was recovered intact 40 km approximately 25 miles downrange on White Sands Missile Range as planned.

“It is great to have NASA back at Spaceport America and to have the opportunity to support their second ‘Flight Opportunities’ sub-orbital launch today,” said NMSA Executive Director Christine Anderson. “We also want to congratulate UP Aerospace, who has been launching with us since the beginning, on their 12th launch from the spaceport.”

The SL-8 sub-orbital sounding rocket, provided by UP Aerospace, is part of the NASA “Flight Opportunities Program,” which is designed to provide sub-orbital payload launch resources for NASA and other government agencies, as well as for educational institutions and the private sector. Some of the “Flight Opportunities” payload customers for this launch include: New Mexico State University, New Mexico Tech, FAA, NASA, SatWest and the Department of Defense.

Payload integration services for today’s SL-8 launch were provided by Schafer Corporation of Albuquerque, NM.


UP Aerospace was created in 1998 by founder Jerry Larson and incorporated in 2004 with its headquarters located in Denver, Colorado. UP Aerospace has been successfully conducting launches from Spaceport America in New Mexico since 2006. With this launch, the company has conducted a total of 12 launch campaigns from the spaceport, of which eight were SpaceLoft launch vehicles and four additional launches of proprietary systems for Lockheed Martin and MOOG UP Aerospace’s launch operations and SpaceLoft vehicles are designed and built from the ground up as a highly reliable, low-cost Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) system. Flight hardware reusability has been a key program requirement for the SpaceLoft launch program, enabling further advancements in low-cost space launch operations. UP Aerospace has successfully demonstrated and refined launch and integration services spanning over six years and 50 individual payload customers.

For more information: www.upaerospace.com


Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has been providing commercial vertical launch services since 2006. Spaceport America has hosted 20 vertical launches thus far. The New Mexico Spaceport Authority continues to work closely with its tenants, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, and its other flight customers in support of the commercial space industry.

For more information, please visit: www.spaceportamerica.com