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Generation Orbit completes first hot-fire test of its hypersonic flight test booster

Posted by Colton Jones on


Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO) has released photographs showing the first hot-fire test of its full-scale, functional prototype of the GOLauncher1 (GO1) hypersonic flight test booster. 

According to a 29 June statement by the company,  the test was the first of its kind to be conducted at Cecil Spaceport in Jacksonville, FL. This is also GO’s first test campaign to include Ursa Major Technologies’ “Hadley” liquid rocket engine.

Currently in development, the GOLauncher 1 will serve the hypersonic flight test and suborbital research communities with an affordable air-launched single-stage booster. The GOLauncher 1’s liquid propulsion system maximizes performance and mission flexibility compared to traditional solid booster solutions.

As result of the test, it became known that еhe 5,000 lbf-class oxygen-rich staged combustion engine performed as expected through the tests.

Photo by Megs H.

GO1 is a single-stage liquid rocket, launched from a Gulfstream III carrier aircraft, primarily designed for hypersonic flight testing. The rocket vehicle propulsion system utilizes liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants.

The system is designed to provide affordable and regular access to high dynamic pressure flight conditions between Mach 5 and Mach 8 to a wide range of payloads for fundamental research, technology development, and risk reduction. The first flight of GO1 is planned for late 2019.

Photo by Generation Orbit

Building up a series of cold flows and engine development tests, this test demonstrated integration of the engine with flight like propellant tanks, valves, pressurization system, and flight controls.

Further, the test demonstrated the throttling capabilities of the system necessary to meet the thrust levels for Mach 6 cruise at 80,000 to 90,000 ft. This feature is a key enabler of GO1’s next-generation hypersonic flight testing capabilities for fundamental research and technology maturation.

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