A rocket launch in the near future is the cornerstone of the latest US Space Force Recruitment website.
Space Force launched a new website this week featuring an interactive animation of a United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket launching a GPS satellite into space.
The long-awaited first flight of the Vulcan Centaur rocket is expected in the first quarter of 2023. Curiously, however, the next GPS launch will actually be on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket no earlier than January, the military said. (will open in a new tab).
“Space Elevator Team: Momentarily Heading to the Launch Pad” – New Space Force Recruitment Website. (will open in a new tab) the animation announces that the over 200 feet (61 meters) high Vulcan rocket is ready. At your command, the rocket launches into space and prepares to launch the GPS satellite.
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Clickable options allow you to learn about the parts of a rocket or satellite, as well as the professions associated with them. The campaign is part of the Space Force’s newest recruiting campaign, not because they’re suffering from opportunities: “We have more volunteers and we have places to fill,” Lt. Gen. This was stated by Bradley Saltzman in the Senate Armed Services Committee in September, according to Air Force Times. (will open in a new tab).
Saltzman added that their hiring problem is not so much quantity as qualifications, as new caregivers require that “highly skilled technicians be brought in to carry out these important critical missions.”
The Space Force had about 8,400 members in November, the smallest and youngest branch of the US military, according to Defense One. (will open in a new tab).
(Image credit: BlackJack3D/Getty Images)
The Space Force is in the process of updating its GPS fleet, and current launch schedules suggest Vulcan Centaur will be used for the first time in 2024 to launch GPS III-07, nicknamed Sally Ride after NASA’s first female astronaut to fly into space. (After Ride’s death, it was revealed that she was also the first known queer astronaut.)
ULA has been the sole provider of military GPS launches for decades using Delta II, Delta IV and Atlas V rockets. SpaceX’s first GPS launch took place in December 2018 with the launch of advanced GPS III satellites. The launch marked the company’s first official National Security Space mission, a designation given to launches deemed critical to national defense.
In August 2020, the Space Force and the US Air Force jointly selected ULA and SpaceX for military launch contracts that could be worth billions and are expected to send satellites into space before 2025. ULA received 60% of the satellite launch contracts, while SpaceX received 40%. At the time, Vulcan was expected to make its first flight in 2021.
Elizabeth Howell is co-author of Why Am I Taller? (will open in a new tab)? (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), space medicine book. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or facebook (will open in a new tab).