U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to Support Stratolaunch Talon-A Hypersonic Flight Test

Stratolaunch’s Roc aircraft carries the first Talon-A separation test vehicle during its eighth flight test on October 28, 2022. (Credit: Stratolaunch)

MOJAVE, Calif., Nov. 14, 2022 (Stratolaunch PR) — Stratolaunch, LLC is pleased to announce a contract with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to support the flight test of the company’s first expendable Talon-A hypersonic test vehicle, TA-1. Stratolaunch anticipates flying TA-1 in the first quarter of 2023.

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Stratolaunch Roc Aircraft Reaches New Heights in Seventh Flight

Roc takes off from the Mojave Air and Space Port on April 29, 2021. (Credit: Stratolaunch)

MOJAVE, Calif. (Stratolaunch PR) — Stratolaunch announces the completion of its seventh flight test of Roc, the world’s largest flying aircraft. The aircraft flew for 3 hours and 1 minute over the Mojave Desert and reached an altitude of 27,000 feet (8200 meters), a new altitude record for the aircraft. 

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Stratolaunch Debuts Talon-A Separation Test Vehicle

Stratolaunch’s Talon-A separation test vehicle, TA-0. (Image Credit: Domenic Moen/Stratolaunch)

MOJAVE, Calif. (Stratolaunch PR) — Stratolaunch is excited to announce the public debut of its structurally complete Talon-A test vehicle, TA-0, in this week’s issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology. This first Talon-A vehicle will be used to test and validate Roc’s release system and characterize the separation dynamics of the Talon vehicle. In addition to the first view of the vehicle by itself, the article also includes recent photos of the first mating of TA-0 to Roc’s pylon located on the center wing.

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Interview: Kimberly Slater of Draper Laboratory Discusses the Challenges of Hypersonic Flight

Kimberly Slater (Credit: Draper Laboratory)

by David Bullock
Staff Writer

Parabolic Arc conducted a Q&A with Kimberly Slater, the Commercial and Science Space Lead at Draper Laboratory, about the guidance, navigational and control software she has worked on for Stratolaunch’s Talon-A hypersonic test vehicle.

Tell me a little about yourself, your engineer and career background and how you got to work for Draper.

Right now I currently lead our civil commercial science space work at Draper, but my history before Draper was all in human space flight. My engineering degree is in man machine interface design. And everything I did before Draper was building, developing, testing, and flying scientific experiments on the space shuttle and space station. So, I did everything from design and build to writing software, writing the interface training manuals to the software—the procedure that the astronauts use on orbit—and then I did crew training for both the American and Russian crew for both space station and shuttle and then mission support and then mission control centers in both Moscow and Houston to support the mission. You know that whole ‘Houston we have a problem’ question when things on orbit and any anomaly has happened during that real time fast paced mission support. 

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Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft Completes Fifth Flight with New Pylon

Stratolaunch completed its fifth test flight of Roc, on May 4, 2022. The flight debuted a new pylon that was integrated to the aircraft center wing. The pylon will be used to carry and release Talon hypersonic vehicles.

MOJAVE, Calif. (Stratolaunch PR) — Stratolaunch announces the successful completion of its fifth flight test of Roc, the world’s largest flying aircraft. The aircraft flew for 4 hours and 58 minutes over the Mojave Desert and reached an altitude of 22,500 feet (6858 m). 

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Stratolaunch’s Roc Retracts & Extends Landing Gear During Fourth Flight Test

Roc aircraft in flight (Credit: Stratolaunch)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

MOJAVE, Calif. — Stratolaunch’s Roc — the world’s largest airplane by wing span at 385 ft (117.3 m) — flew for the fourth time on Thursday. In a sign of just how complicated the massive air-launch platform is to fly, one of the main objectives of this flight test was to retract and lower the plane’s landing gear at altitude for the first time ever.

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Stratolaunch Roc Carrier Aircraft Completes Third Flight Test

Roc aircraft (Credit: Stratolaunch)

MOJAVE, Calif., January 16, 2022 (Stratolaunch PR) – Stratolaunch LLC is excited to announce the successful completion of its third Roc carrier aircraft test flight. Roc is the world’s largest aircraft, with a 385 ft. wingspan. The aircraft took off at 8:47 a.m. PST and flew for 4 hours, 23 minutes over the Mojave Desert. It reached an altitude of 23,500 feet (7162.8 m) at an indicated air speed of 180 knots. This flight further prepared the carrier aircraft to support launches of its upcoming hypersonic testbed vehicle, Talon-A.

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Stratolaunch Announces Research Contract with Missile Defense Agency

Stratolaunch Roc approaches runway 12-30 at the Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit; Douglas Messier)

MOJAVE, CA – December 8, 2021 – Stratolaunch, LLC is pleased to announce a research contract with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The company plans to augment existing Department of Defense flight test resources through affordable, commercially contracted, rapid-turnaround hypersonic flight testing for the Department of Defense and its prime contractor partners.

“We’re excited to provide MDA with a threat-representative and threat-replicating target that allows them to understand how to engage and intercept hypersonic threats,” said Dr. Daniel Millman, Chief Technology Officer of Stratolaunch.

The Stratolaunch team is eagerly preparing to complete its next set of Roc carrier aircraft test flights. The team also continues to make tremendous strides in building its first two Talon-A test vehicles: TA-0 and TA-1. TA-1 will start its power-on testing by the end of year, keeping the company on track to begin hypersonic flight testing in 2022 and to deliver services to government and commercial customers in 2023.

Talon A hypersonic vehicle (Credit: Stratolaunch)

Launched from Stratolaunch’s Roc carrier aircraft, the Talon-A vehicles are rocket-powered, autonomous, reusable testbeds carrying customized payloads at speeds above Mach 5. This capability enables routine access to the hypersonic flight environment, which is critical for scientific research, technological development, and component demonstration.

About Stratolaunch

Stratolaunch’s mission is to advance high-speed technology through innovative design, manufacturing, and operation of world-class aerospace vehicles. For the latest news and information, visit www.stratolaunch.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Stratolaunch Welcomes Former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin and Former Boeing Executive Kamiar Karimi to its Board of Directors

Roc on approach at Mojave. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

MOJAVE, Calif., November 1, 2021 (Stratolaunch PR) – Stratolaunch today announced that the Honorable Daniel Goldin, longest tenured National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”) Administrator, and Dr. Kamiar Karimi, former Senior Technical Fellow at the Boeing Company (“Boeing”), have joined its Board of Directors.

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Stratolaunch Talon-A Hypersonic Vehicle Completes Critical Design Review

Talon A hypersonic test bed. (Credit: Stratolaunch)
  • Talon-A airframe nears completion and begins systems installation
  • Roc carrier aircraft to complete additional flights this year
  • Hypersonic flights on track to test next year

MOJAVE, Calif., September 27, 2021 (Stratolaunch PR) – Stratolaunch is pleased to announce an important milestone for its Talon-A hypersonic test vehicles. The company successfully completed its Critical Design Review (“CDR”), a multidisciplinary technical review that ensure systems meet specified performance requirements.

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Stratolaunch Selects Calspan to Build & Test Models for Talon-A Mach 6 Vehicle

Talon A hypersonic vehicle (Credit: Stratolaunch)

BUFFALO, NEW YORK, November 10, 2020 (Calspan PR) – Stratolaunch LLC, a leader in testing and development for the high-speed aerospace market, has chosen Calspan to build and test models of the fully reusable Talon-A autonomous, liquid rocket-powered Mach 6-class hypersonic vehicle. Under the contract, Calspan Systems, located in Newport News, Virginia will build the scale models, one of which will be tested in Calspan’s Transonic Wind Tunnel in Buffalo, NY.

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