Generation Orbit Awarded USAF SBIR Phase II Contract

Captive carry flight (Credit: Generation Orbit)
Captive carry flight (Credit: Generation Orbit)

ATLANTA (GO PR) — Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO) has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Aerospace Systems Directorate (AFRL/RQ) for continued development of the GOLauncher 1, a single-stage air launched liquid rocket vehicle designed to fly suppressed trajectories for hypersonic flight research applications.

Booster systems capable of flying suppressed trajectories increase flexibility for experimental payloads requiring high Mach number, high dynamic pressure flight environments. The effort will focus on preliminary design of GOLauncher 1, as well as design, build, and test of an integrated, hardware-in-the-loop Engineering Development Unit for the rocket vehicle. Partners on the program include Calspan Corporation, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc., and Ventions, LLC.

“The next phase of this program will allow us to not only continue design work on the vehicle, but also bring hardware manufacturing and software development together in the product development cycle much earlier than is typically done in complex aerospace systems,” commented A.J. Piplica, the Principal Investigator on the effort. “Through this early integration and testing of hardware and software, we’ll be able to validate the assumptions we’ve made throughout the conceptual design process, demonstrating the performance, cost, and reliability of the vehicle well before flight.”

AFRL project manager, Barry Hellman, also commented on the program. “Generation Orbit’s GO Launcher 1 design has the potential to provide a very capable and affordable hypersonic test capability to mature hypersonic technologies. The SBIR program is a great mechanism to develop this capability.”

About Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc.

Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO) focuses on providing fast, flexible, and dedicated space transportation services for small payloads. GOLauncher 2 supplies microsatellite, nanosatellite, and CubeSat customers with reliable and affordable access to space. The unique air launch approach developed by GO and its partners offers flexible launch capabilities, poised to reduce fixed infrastructure needs, launch costs, and the time from contract signature to launch. Air launch system experience at GO dates back over 10 years, providing a distinct advantage throughout the design and analysis process. As a systems integrator, GO compiles multiple aspects of the launch architecture to provide a streamlined service to scientists, researchers, and industry customers alike.

For more information, visit GO on the web at and follow GO on Twitter @generationorbit.