First-of-its-kind hypersonic flight booster tested at Cecil Spaceport

All systems go for Generation Orbit launch Services hypersonic prototype

By Roxy Tyler - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Rocket science is literally going on at the Cecil Spaceport in Jacksonville as Generation Orbit completes a hot fire test of a hypersonic prototype.

The initial integrated engine firing of a full-scale, functional prototype of the GOLauncher1 (GO1) hypersonic flight test booster.

The test was the first of its kind to be done at Cecil Spaceport. It's also GO's first test to include Ursa Major technologies' Hadley liquid rocket engine.  The 5,000 lbf-class oxygen-rich staged combustion engine performed as expected through the tests.

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.

“The culmination of several years of work in the successful testing of this GO1 prototype is a huge milestone in the product’s development. Completing a full end-to-end integrated system iteration prior to the completion of the vehicle design has allowed us to learn a massive amount, not only about how the system works, but also on the manufacturing and operations fronts. Completing this campaign at Cecil Spaceport also demonstrates the readiness of the facility to support near-term launch operations. We very much appreciate the opportunity and afforded us by AFRL to drive the development of GO1 as we continue to move toward ushering a revolution in hypersonic flight testing capabilities,” said GO CEO  A.J. Piplica.

The company is under contract to the Air Force Research Laboratory. 

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