Armadillo Aerospace Flies Third “STIG-A” Rocket from Spaceport America

STIG rocket. (Credit: Ben Brockert)

NMSA PR – Upham, NM –New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced today a launch of a “STIG-A” rocket designed and built by Armadillo Aerospace. The launch took place from Spaceport America’s vertical launch complex on Saturday, January 28, 2012. The research and development test flight was a non-public, unpublished event at the request of Armadillo Aerospace, as the company is testing proprietary advanced launch technologies.

Saturday’s Armadillo launch successfully lifted off at approximately 11:15 a.m. (MDT), which was within the dedicated, five-hour launch window, and preliminary data indicates the rocket reached its projected altitude of over 137,000 feet.

The STIG-A’s recovery system did not function properly after reaching its desired altitude however, the rocket was successfully retrieved after a hard landing within the predicted Spaceport America mission recover zone.

Armadillo Aerospace plans to release additional information on today’s launch in the coming days after they have time to analyze their launch data further.

“This was the third test of the Armadillo “STIG A” reusable sub-orbital rocket technology to launch at Spaceport America. The last successful “STIG-A” was launched at the spaceport on December 4, 2011.

Today’s launch was the 14th launch from the Spaceport America vertical launch complex since 2006 and marks the 4th Armadillo Aerospace launch from the spaceport. Armadillo Aerospace has additional plans to launch from Spaceport America this year.

About Armadillo Aerospace

Founded in 2000, Armadillo Aerospace has an unequaled experience base with over 200 flight tests spread over a dozen different vehicles. The company has done work for NASA and the United States Air Force, and flown vehicles at every X-Prize Cup and Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge event, including those held in New Mexico from 2006 to 2008.

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About Spaceport America

Spaceport America has been providing commercial launch services since 2006. Phase One of the construction for the spaceport is expected to be complete in early 2012. Phase Two of the construction and pre-operations activities will follow, including the development of a world-class Visitor Experience for students, tourists and space launch customers. Officials at Spaceport America have been working closely with entrepreneurial space leaders like Armadillo Aerospace, Virgin Galactic, and UP Aerospace, as well as established aerospace firms like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and MOOG-FTS to develop commercial spaceflight at the new facility. The economic impact of launches, tourism and new construction at Spaceport America are already delivering on the promise of economic development to the people of New Mexico.

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  • Andy

    When did the second STIG-A launch happen? My understanding was STIG launched in May 2011 and the first STIG-A launch was December 2011.

  • Jason

    Late last week.

  • Andy

    So there have been 3 STIG-A launches? My count was 1 for STIG and this makes 2 for STIG-A.

  • Jonathan McDowell

    Do you really mean 11:15 MDT, not MST ? I thought New Mexico wasn’t on daylight time right now…