Mission Above the Clouds

Mission Overview

About the Mission


The U.S. Department of Defense is launching several Research and Development (R&D) satellites from multiple government agencies that are experiments in space-based communications and in-space navigation, as well as a university payload sponsored by NASA. This launch, also known as STP-27VPB, was awarded to Virgin Orbit’s subsidiary VOX Space by the DoD’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) as part of the DoD Space Test Program’s (STP) Rapid Agile Launch (RALI) Initiative. DIU is an organization working to accelerate the adoption of commercial technology into the U.S. military to strengthen national security.

Polish company SatRevolution is launching two nanosatellites: STORK-3 and SteamSat-2. STORK-3 join the STORK-4 and STORK-5 Marta satellites placed in orbit on our June 2021 mission as part of the SatRevolution’s Earth-observation capabilities, with a focus on serving customers in the agricultural sector to take medium-resolution photos. SteamSat-2 is a technology demonstrated for SteamJet Space System (UK)’s innovative water-fueled thrusters for in-space propulsion.

Read the official press release of the launch event.

Launch Details



Q4 2021

Launch Site

Mojave Air and Space Port
Mojave, California


mid-inclination Low Earth Orbit

Customers on this Launch