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Generation Orbit Awarded Contract for GO1 Flight Testing

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 7, 2017
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Credit: Generation Orbit

ATLANTA, April 7, 2017 (GO PR) – Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO) is pleased to announce the award of a Follow-On Phase II SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Aerospace Systems Directorate, High Speed Systems Division (AFRL/RQH) for development and flight testing of the GOLauncher 1 (GO1).

The single stage liquid rocket, launched from a Gulfstream III business jet, will conduct its inaugural flight test in 2019, reaching Mach 6 within the atmosphere. The flight will mark the initial operational capability of the world’s first commercially-available hypersonic test bed, empowering hypersonic researchers with affordable and flexible access to hypersonic flight environments.

This effort is a follow-on of the Phase I and Phase II SBIR Contracts awarded to Generation Orbit by AFRL in July of 2014 and August of 2015, respectively.

“Building on the design and prototyping efforts we are currently engaged in for GO1, we are excited about the opportunity to bring the system together in flight,” commented A.J. Piplica, Chief Executive Officer at GO. “With this hypersonic flight capability available, we hope to see the pace of technology development for high speed flight accelerate in the coming years. From a commercial standpoint, we look forward to taking the first steps toward the operational hypersonic flight systems of the future, creating new markets and truly shrinking the world.”

AFRL project manager, Barry Hellman, also commented on the program. “The design of GO1 builds upon the successes of AFRL’s Hypersonic International Flight Research & Experimentation (HIFiRE) program. GO1 has the potential to significantly increase the rate of hypersonic testing and support testing of a wide range of hypersonic payloads. We have been very pleased with the innovative ideas incorporated into GO1 and the opportunity that the SBIR program has enabled to develop this capability.”