ULA launches STP-3 mission

8. 12. 2021 0 By Space Seeker

United Launch Alliance launched an Atlas V rocket on its fifth and final mission of 2021. STP-3 marks the third dedicated launch for the U.S. Space Force’s Space Test Program. This mission carried classified national security payloads and a NASA mission to demonstrate in-space laser communications. 

The primary spacecraft is known as STPSat-6 which will host nine experiments including those for NASA and the NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration).

An experiment for NNSA is built with a sensor to detect nuclear explosions on Earth. NASA’s LCRD (Laser Communications Relay Demonstration) is designed to test laser communications as an alternative to typical radio communications for NASA spacecraft. 

Photo by ULA