Generation Orbit Launch Services is developing a rocket technology with liquid-propellant engine for use in hypersonic flight research efforts of the U.S. Air Force.
The air-dropped vehicle, which the Air Force designated as X-60A, will employ the Hadley propulsion system and is designed to fly at a speed of between Mach 5 and Mach 8, the military service said Thursday.
Col. Colin Tucker, military deputy to the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering, said the X-60A will work to capture data and complement the branch’s ground test platform.
“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,” Tucker added.
X-60A became the first system to obtain an “X” designation through the Air Force’s Small Business Innovative Research program.
Generation Orbit developed the rocket under a contract from the high-speed systems division within AFRL’s aerospace systems directorate.