ATLANTA — Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO) is pleased to announce the signing of a Space Act Agreement with NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) to collaboratively pursue the flight test and envelope clearance for the GOLauncher 1 air launched rocket vehicle.
Utilizing AFRC’s experience and capabilities in flight test engineering for air launch rocket systems, the two year program will demonstrate integration of the GOLauncher 1 Inert Test Article (GO1-ITA) with NASA’s Gulfstream III research aircraft, captive carry flight testing, and release testing.
Further, NASA AFRC will continue the development of its store separation analysis capability, eventually validating the toolset through release flight testing of the GO1-ITA.
The program will break new ground in demonstrating GO’s unique launch vehicle release maneuver from a business jet aircraft, paving the way for test flights of the GOLauncher 1 hypersonic testbed.
“We’re incredibly excited about the prospect of flying the GO1-ITA later this year with NASA. The data we’ll gather will allow us to build confidence in our aircraft performance estimates and demonstrate the release of our vehicle from the aircraft for the first time,” commented A.J. Piplica, GO’s Principal Investigator on the effort. “The team at NASA Armstrong brings an immense amount of intelligence and experience in the realm of flight testing, harkening back to the original supersonic and hypersonic flight platforms. We look forward to working with them over the course of the program as we develop a modern hypersonic flight test platform for the 21st century.”
Mr. Dennis Hines, Director for Programs at NASA Armstrong commented on the program: “NASA Armstrong is very pleased and extremely enthusiastic about working with Generation Orbit Launch Services on the separation analysis, captive carry test, and the inert test launch of their air launched liquid rockets. This is a project that was selected to create a public-private partnership as part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate’s 2015 Announcement of Collaborative Opportunity. NASA Armstrong’s expertise in vehicle integration, air launch, and flight research is ideally suited for this partnership.”