The U.S. Air Force has released the first-ever photos of the Super Strypi launch vehicle, a souped-up version of a Cold War-era sounding rocket about to be shot into orbit on a unique demonstration flight with 13 small satellites.
The military previously only showed photos of a ground mockup of the Super Strypi.
Sporting aerodynamic fins and standing 67 feet tall, the Super Strypi will fire off a rail launcher at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, as soon as Tuesday. The flight is experimental, but 13 satellites are fastened inside the nose cone for the University of Hawaii, NASA, and university and commercial CubeSat developers.
United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket, modified for crewed launches, rolled out of the Vertical Integration Facility Wednesday for the 1,800-foot trek to pad 41 in preparation for liftoff with Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule on an unpiloted mission to the International Space Station.
The next 36 satellites for OneWeb’s broadband internet network fired into orbit from Russia’s Far East Friday on a Soyuz rocket, giving OneWeb 110 of a planned fleet of 650 spacecraft after the company emerged from bankruptcy earlier this year.