UP Aerospace

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UP Aerospace, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Aerospace
Founded 2005
Headquarters Denver, Colorado
Key people Jerry Larson, President
Website Official website

UP Aerospace, Inc. is a private spaceflight corporation based out of Denver, Colorado. UP Aerospace provides ultra-low cost space access and payload transportation for corporate, military and educational payloads, via their SpaceLoft XL sounding rocket launch vehicles. [1]

History and Future Plans[edit]

UP Aerospace vertical launch site at Spaceport America

The first launch of the SpaceLoft XL occurred on September 25, 2006 from Spaceport America in Upham, New Mexico. The vehicle failed to go higher than 40,000 ft due to a malfunction attributed to faulty fin design and unexpected aerodynamic effects.[2][3]

UP Aerospace has conducted eight launches from Spaceport America during 2006-2009, including three in 2009[4] They plan to "double the number of customer launches from Spaceport America to six or more in 2010 as demand for the company's services increases."[5]


On April 28, 2007, some of the cremated remains of actor James Doohan, who played Chief Engineer Scott on the 1960s television series Star Trek, and from astronaut Gordon Cooper, were rocketed into suborbital space (along with ashes of about 200 other people) by UP Aerospace from Spaceport America. This was the first successful launch from the site. [6] The payload container was recovered 18 May 2007.[7]

As of August 2007, UP Aerospace began offering low-cost launches to youth and students through the Space Generation Advisory Council. Under this arrangement members of the Space Generation can send their own experiments or novelty payloads into space for as low as US$2000 per experiment. From 2008, the Space Generation Advisory Council will host a range of competitions for youth to address specific technical or logistical challenges through the design of their own UP Aerospace TinySat module.[8]

In April 2008, UP Aerospace was hired by the large US aerospace company Lockheed Martin to provide launch services at Spaceport America for a test rocket program. Lockheed Martin stated that they are trying to create a lower-cost-to-orbit cargo service, using a winged vehicle launched atop a land-based rocket. UP Aerospace and the New Mexico location were chosen to aid in testing prototype systems. UP Aerospace was chosen, particularly, because of their experience launching rockets at Spaceport America.[9]

Up Aerospace most recent launch was April 5, 2012 this being their 6th sub-orbital space launch, SL-6 was contracted by the Department of Defense (ORS) office, also on-board was an experiment from NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program. Up Aerospace Spaceloft XL rocket set a new Spaceport America Record reaching an altitude of 385,640 feet.[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ PROFILE: Want to shoot a payload into space? Perez is your man, Las Cruces Sun-News, 2010-10-18, accessed 2010-10-19.
  2. ^ "Low-cost rocket fails to reach space". Australia: ABC News. September 25, 2006. "Because of an unexpected aerodynamic effect, the vehicle was short of its effected range, it went to an altitude of 40,000 feet." 
  3. ^ "Doohan's ashes to be shot into space Saturday". Today. April 30, 2007. "Company officials blamed the failure on a faulty fin design." 
  4. ^ "Lockheed Martin launches test vehicle from NM's Spaceport America". Las Cruces Sun-News. 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  5. ^ "UP AEROSPACE, LOCKHEED MARTIN Launch from Spaceport America" (Press release). Spaceport America. 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  6. ^ Roger Fillion (September 26, 2006). "Colorado rocket crashes". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on September 27, 2006. 
  7. ^ Leonard David (2007). "Private Rocket's Cargo Found: Ashes of Star Trek's 'Scotty,' Others Recovered". SPACE.com. Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  8. ^ "UP Aerospace Offers Space Generation Advisory Council Low-Cost Launches for Youth". PR.com. July 20, 2007. 
  9. ^ Bob Martin; Bill Diven (2008). "Spaceport launch tests future spacecraft". KRQE. Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  10. ^ "UP Aerospace Rocket Reaches 385,000 Feet Altitude04.10.12". Dryden Flight Research Center. NASA. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-18.