C6 Launch Systems Starts Rocket Testing at Spaceport America

Scott McLaughlin, Executive Director of Spaceport America, Katrina Hornstein Senior Program Manager at Ursa Major Technologies , Daniel McCammon VP of Engineering at C6 and Mike Heard, Project Manager at Highland Enterprises. (Credit: NMSA)

SIERRA COUNTY, NM, March 16, 2021 (New Mexico Spaceport Authority PR) –– Canadian Corporation C6 Launch Systems has unveiled a new rocket engine test stand at Spaceport America’s vertical launch area.  

At a ribbon cutting ceremony held on site, C6 showed off the static rocket test stand constructed by Highland Enterprises of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Highland designed, fabricated, and installed the stand at Spaceport America. The rocket test stand supports many different engine sizes, and it will remain at Spaceport America for future use by C6 Launch and other Spaceport customers. C6 Launch Systems have invested $200,000 in developing the test stand and conducting its mission in New Mexico.

“We are pleased to host two more exciting entrepreneurial companies at Spaceport America,” said Scott McLaughlin, the Executive Director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority. “C6 Launch and Ursa Major Technologies show where space is headed. We are finally able to see the end of a tough year, and this demonstrates the type of customers Spaceport America can attract and to help achieve their goals. We also see local economic impact benefits in the fabrication by Highland Enterprises, and our customers staying and spending in the local area.”

C6 Team from Canada in front of the rocket test stand at Spaceport America. (Credit: NMSA)

Over a six-week period, the Canadian rocket company will conduct system integration tests including several engine firings at Spaceport America. These tests will validate the avionics, engine control, ground control and communications subsystems. C6 spent the last eight months designing and building the entire test system with support from Spaceport America and Ursa Major Technologies.

“C6 is excited to take the next step to launch small satellites to space,” said Richard McCammon, President of C6 Launch Systems. “Reaching space requires varied skills and expertise.  The generous support of the team at Spaceport America made these tests possible. They worked with us to develop a plan for their facilities and introduced local suppliers including Highland Enterprises. The tests will confirm operation of the C6 internal systems by conducting a hot-fire test of the Hadley engine from Ursa Major. This test will be the first of many Hadley engines that C6 intends to use in the quest for space.”

C6, through its US affiliate, purchased the Hadley engine from Ursa Major Technologies who is providing a team of propulsion engineers to assist in the Static Engine integration Test at Spaceport America.

“We’re honored to participate in the C6 hot fire campaign at Spaceport America” said Kevin Lausten, Chief Revenue Officer for Ursa Major. “The C6 team constitutes an impressive collection of companies with a shared vision to quickly and reliably deliver space access to smallsat providers. With this latest test campaign, the C6 team is one step closer to achieving that collective vision.”

This is not the first visit to Spaceport America for C6 Director of Structures Sadben Khan. Khan was the Co-Captain and Structures Lead for the Ryerson Rocketry team at Spaceport America Cup in 2017.  He designed and built the entire airframe. The Ryerson team placed 2nd in the 30k ft competition.

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Spaceport America (Press Kit) is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot by 200-foot runway, vertical launch complexes, and about 340 days of sunshine and low humidity. Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are tenants at Spaceport America: Virgin GalacticHAPSMobile/AeroVironmentUP Aerospace, and SpinLaunch. Other customers include BoeingEXOS Aerospace and Swift Engineering. (https://www.spaceportamerica.com)

C6 Launch (Press Kit) is a Canadian company based in Strathroy, Ontario with offices in Toronto, Ontario. Our affiliated companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, and soon Brazil gives C6 a global presence and reach. C6 brings a new launch capacity to the market for smallsat payloads up to 30 kg. This means the game changers, first movers and those with urgent operational requirements can deploy smallsats where they want, when they want. C6 is committed to removing the barriers that keep smallsats out of the sky. (www.c6launch.ca)

Ursa Major Technologies (ursamajortechnologies.com) Founded in 2015, Ursa Major focuses on building and supplying the best rocket engines in the world. Ursa Major has approximately 80 employees whose backgrounds include time at Nasa, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Maxar, Generation Orbit and Lockheed Martin.