American rocket startup Generation Orbit Launch Services has successfully defended the draft design of the advanced hypersonic rocket X-60A, to be used for suborbital research. As reports Defense Aerospace, the startup has received permission to build the first flight model of the carrier, flight testing which is scheduled to begin in 2020.
Rocket X-60A, obtained the index in October 2018 and formerly known as GOLauncher 1, developed for the U.S. air force. It will be used as a carrier of various measuring equipment, which will allow conducting research in microgravity and astrophysics. In addition, with the help of the rocket is scheduled to launch into space nano-satellites.
The mass of the carrier is 1.1 tons. X-60A can carry equipment or nano-satellites with a total mass of from 136 to 454 kg. Rocket could be used for research launches on suborbital trajectories in height from 15.2 to 36.6 thousand meters with flight speeds of four to eight Mach numbers.
According to the plan, tests hypersonic missile vehicle will be in the interest of the Research laboratory of the U.S. air force. During the first test missile launch from the aircraft carrier. Other details about the project were not disclosed.
Earlier it was reported that after the start of serial production of X-60A Generation Orbit Launch Services will manufacture and heavier missiles — GOLauncher GOLauncher 2 and 3. They can carry larger volume and weight of the cargo, to fly along the trajectories with a large range of altitudes at higher speeds. A carrier rocket family GOLauncher will be a wide-body DC-10 aircraft.