SpaceLoft XL

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SpaceLoft XL
Function Sounding rocket
Manufacturer UP Aerospace
Country of origin United States
Height 20 ft (6 m)
Diameter 10.45 in (26.5 cm)
Mass 780 lb (354.5 kg)
Stages 1
Payload to
140 miles (225 km) apogee
110 lb (50 kg)
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites Spaceport America
Total launches 5
Successes 3
Failures 2
First flight 25 September 2006
First stage
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 8240 lbf (36.6kN)
Burn time 12 seconds[1]
Fuel solid

The SpaceLoft XL is a sounding rocket developed by UP Aerospace. The rocket has a diameter of 10 inches (25 cm), and is 20 feet (6 m) long. It is capable of lofting a 110 lb (50 kg) payload to a sub-orbital trajectory with an apogee of 140 miles (225 km).[2] It takes only 90 seconds to cross the Kármán line (the "edge of space").


The first launch, SL-1 was made at 2:14 p.m. local time (20:14 UTC) on September 25, 2006, from Spaceport America, in Upham, New Mexico. During its maiden flight, it experienced an "unexpected aerodynamic effect" and crashed in the New Mexico desert after reaching only 40,000 feet (12 km).

The second launch, SL-2 originally scheduled for October 21, 2006, was successfully carried out on April 28, 2007 at 8:56 a.m. local time (14:56 UTC).[3] UP Aerospace president Jerry Larson had said the rocket was assembled and had been on the launch rail since Tuesday (24 April).[4] The primary payload, Celestis Legacy, consisted of cremated human remains including those of astronaut Gordon Cooper and Star Trek actor James Doohan, whose ashes were also on board the ill-fated Falcon 1 when it malfunctioned in August 2008.

The third launch, SL-3 was conducted at 14:00 UTC on 2 May 2009, carrying student experiments and the Discovery payload for Celestis, had an electronic anomaly causing an early separation and failed to reach the correct apogee.[5][6] UP Aerospace has conducted a total of 9 launches, 5 of them SpaceLoft XL rockets. SL-5 reached a Spaceport altitude record of 73.5 miles (388,080 ft) on May 20, 2011.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Star Trek's Scotty's ashes fly to space". AP. 
  4. ^ "Preparations Under Way For Second Rocket Launch". KOAT. 
  5. ^ "Officials Praise NM Rocket Launch". KOAT. 2009-05-02. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  6. ^ "Rocket falls short of altitude goal at space port". 2009-05-02. Retrieved 2009-05-02. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Suborbital Rocket Launches Human Remains, Wedding Rings into Space".