The American company Generation Orbit Launch Services conducted the first test firing of a full-size prototype advanced hypersonic missile carrier Launcher 1, which will allow you to display different payload on a suborbital trajectory. As written by Aviation Week, held check is considered completely successful.
The aim of the first fire test was a test of the rocket engine, tanks for fuel and oxidizer, valves, systems, pressure generation and flight control. In addition, experts tested the ability of the engine to increase thrust.
The prototype of a GOLauncher 1, installed liquid rocket engine Hadley, kerosene is used as oxidizer liquid oxygen. This powerplant is capable of developing a thrust of slightly more than 22 kN (at sea level) and to provide acceleration media to velocities in excess of 5-8 times the speed of sound.
In the near future the company Generation Orbit Launch Services plans to conduct an additional series of tests of advanced hypersonic vehicle and its engine. As expected, the first flight tests GOLauncher1 will be held at the end of 2019.
GOLauncher1 developed in the interests of the United States air force, will be the carrier for the various measurement equipment that will allow to study not only in microgravity but also astrophysics. In addition, the rocket could be used for to the launch of nano-satellites.
The weight of the new missile is 1.1 tons. GOLauncher 1 can carry different hardware or micro-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 (from 4.9 to 9.9 thousand kilometers per hour).
After the start of serial production of the missile Launcher 1 the American company intends to start production of heavier its derivatives — GOLauncher GOLauncher 2 and 3. These rockets 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.
Currently, the us developers don’t have tools that would allow a broad range of research in the field of microgravity and high-speed atmospheric flight. Prior to 1968, such research in the USA was conducted using the experimental rocket plane X-15, originally engineered for space flight with the carrier aircraft.
Before closing the program X-15 rocketplane with different equipment were used for studies whose data was used, including in the development of the American space program.