Generation Orbit rocket designated X-60A hypersonic test rocket

The Air Force has designated the GOLauncher1 (GO1) hypersonic flight research vehicle as X-60A. The vehicle is being developed by Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. under contract to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Aerospace Systems Directorate, High Speed Systems Division.

It is an air-dropped liquid rocket, specifically designed for hypersonic flight research to mature technologies including scramjet propulsion, high temperature materials and autonomous control.

The GOLauncher 1 will serve the hypersonic flight test and suborbital research communities with an affordable air-launched single-stage booster. The GOLauncher 1’s liquid propulsion system maximizes performance and mission flexibility compared to traditional solid booster solutions.

GOLauncher 1 offers researches the flexibility to conduct both captive carry and free-flyer experiments at high dynamic pressure/high Mach number flight conditions for substantially lower cost has previously been demonstrated.

The X-60A rocket vehicle propulsion system is the Hadley liquid rocket engine, which utilizes liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants. The system is designed to provide affordable and regular access to high dynamic pressure flight conditions between Mach 5 and Mach 8.

This is the first Air Force Small Business Innovative Research program to receive an experimental “X” designation.

US Navy has Draper Lab’s working on sub launched hypersonic missile

The US Navy has a contract with Draper Labs for a sub launched hypersonic missile.

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, is awarded a $13,380,171 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide research into the applications of technologies to meet guidance requirements for operations on the Common Missile Compartment for the U.S. Columbia-class program and the United Kingdom Dreadnought-class program; provide specialized technical knowledge and support for the hypersonic guidance, navigation and control application; provide technical and engineering services to support the Guidance, Navigation and Control system that will support the Navy’s hypersonic flight experiments. Work will be performed in Cambridge, Massachusetts (81 percent); and El Segundo, California (19 percent), with an expected completion date of Sept. 30, 2019. Subject to the availability of funds, fiscal 2019 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $13,380,171 will be obligated. No funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was a sole source acquisition pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1)&(4). Strategic Systems Programs, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00030-19-C-0001).”

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