Victus Nox: How and Why U.S. Space Force Contracts Commercial Space Companies for Space Missions

March 3, 2023

Who you gonna call in a space emergency?

Soon, you’ll be able to call on Victus Nox, a “tactically responsive space mission” led by Millennium Space Systems, a Boeing company.

The Purpose of Victus Nox Mission for Space Force

This mission’s primary focus is to design a satellite that can be launched and placed into low-Earth orbit within mere hours of a critical need. The contract awarded to Millennium by Space Systems Command is part of the U.S. Space Force’s new focus on exploiting existing commercial sources for use in its operations.

Space Systems Command is the nation’s military division charged with executing spacepower missions to defend the country’s interests. Its mission includes “developing, acquiring, equipping and fielding lethal and resilient space capabilities.” So what sort of tasks might Victus Nox be called upon to address?

The Capabilities of Victus Nox

It is firstly expected that the new satellite will assist the military in monitoring spacecraft and space debris that could threaten other traffic. Victus Nox (Latin for ‘Conquer the Night’) will thus reinforce the concept of “space domain awareness.” The issue of space debris is increasingly a military concern, because of the critical role that satellites play both commercially and in defense of our country. Damage to one of these orbiting structures could take down GPS navigation, phone and television communications, and all manner of observational and watchdog efforts. Satellites can often be re-routed around dangerous space debris if these obstacles are detected and tracked in enough time. 

Victus Nox satellite will be equipped with advanced sensors and communication systems that will provide real-time data on the location and movement of objects in space. This will aid its supplementary mission in defending not just against debris, but also against targeted attempts by adversaries to destroy working satellites. As these satellites become more integral to modern life, their attractiveness as targets increases. 

Launching Urgent New Space Missions

Congress has complained to the Pentagon about its lack of readiness in this regard. In January, lawmakers argued that the United States is “not currently positioned with an operational capability to rapidly replace assets in orbit that are degraded, disabled, or destroyed or to rapidly launch satellites for urgent new missions.” A large appropriation was added to the defense budget to address this issue.

Millennium plans to re-fit an existing satellite currently in production so that it can meet the aggressive timeline demanded in its contract with Space Systems Command -- 8 months to delivery. This short interval will be consumed by final tests, and then fueling and delivery to the launch site in California.

The Future of Defensive Space Satellite Missions

Once delivered, the Victus Nox satellite will be capable of launching into orbit within 24 hours to accept whatever critical mission it is assigned. This capability will make it a unique component of US defense solutions. Future plans include expanding similar responsive space operations to key allies and to developing multiple launch locations.

Victus Nox is only the latest speedy delivery satellite project developed by Millennium. Tetra-1 and Dragracer are other products of its national-security focused production line for manufacturing small satellites in condensed timeframes.

The Future of Satellite Missions at Capitol Tech

Capitol Technology University offers a variety of in-demand degree programs that can prepare students to work on space satellite missions like Victus Nox. Our Aviation and Astronautical Sciences program equips students with knowledge of aviation and engineering technologies, giving them the expertise needed to work on missions both on ground and in space. From conducting simulated launches in our Space Flight Operations and Training Center (SFOTC) to sending balloon payloads into orbit, our hands-on programs will provided the necessary training for students to enter a strong and lucrative workforce. To learn more about these programs, contact