Defense

October 5, 2018
 

U.S. Air Force designates GO1 hypersonic flight research vehicle as X-60A

An artists’ sketch of an X-60A launch.

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, 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 X-60A is like a flying wind tunnel to capture data that complements our current ground test capability,” said Col. Colin Tucker, Military Deputy, office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering. “We’ve long needed this type of test vehicle to better understand how materials and other technologies behave while flying at more than 5 times the speed of sound. It enables faster development of both our current hypersonic weapon rapid prototypes and evolving future systems.”

AFRL’s motivation for the X-60A program is to increase the frequency of flight testing while lowering the cost of maturing hypersonic technologies in relevant flight conditions. While hypersonic ground test facilities are vital in technology development, we must also test those technologies with actual hypersonic flight conditions.

Utilizing new space commercial development, licensing, and operations practices, X-60A is envisioned to provide the Air Force, other U.S. Government agencies, and industry with a platform to more rapidly mature technologies.

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. The “X” designation on aerospace platforms and rockets indicate use for testing and evaluating new technologies and aerodynamic concepts.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – April 22, 2019

News Prosecutors celebrate victory after ruling in Gallagher war crimes case – The military judge overseeing the court-martial proceedings for accused SEAL war criminal Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward “Eddie” Gallagher has ruled that information gleaned from his seized cell phones can be used as evidence by the prosecution.   Russia would be Turkey’s ‘first...
 
 

News Briefs – April 22, 2019

U.S. gives 3 Black Hawk helicopters to Albania military Albania’s Defense Ministry says the United States has provided three Black Hawk helicopters to bolster its military capacities. A statement April 20 said Defense Minister Olta Xhacka, who is visiting the United States, signed the deal at the New Jersey National Guard. Helicopters are part of...
 
 

Things are stacking up for NASA’s Mars 2020 spacecraft

NASA/JPL-Caltech This animated gif shows major components of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission in the High Bay 1 clean room in JPL’s Spacecraft Assembly Facility. For the past few months, the clean room floor in High Bay 1 a...