NASA and Generation Orbit Sign Space Act Agreement on GOLauncher 1
[Via Satellite 05-04-2016] Generation Orbit Launch Services (GO) has signed a Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) to collaboratively pursue the flight test and envelope clearance for the GOLauncher 1 air launched rocket vehicle. Using 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 3 research aircraft, captive carry flight testing, and release testing.
GOLauncher 1 is an air launched suborbital launch system currently under development. Progress with GOLauncher 1 will feed into GO’s orbital air-launch system GOLauncher 2. 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 is to demonstrate GO’s launch vehicle release maneuver from a business jet aircraft, paving the way for test flights of the GOLauncher 1 hypersonic testbed.
“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,” said A.J. Piplica, COO of GO.