Northrop Grumman has completed a static fire test of the second-stage engine for a rocket designed to carry national security, commercial and government payloads into space.
The motor of OmegA launch vehicle generated at least 785K pounds of thrust within 140 seconds during the full-scale demonstration that took place in Promontory, Utah. The test sought to demonstrate the thermal and ballistic peformance of the engine and how it would perform when placed in a cold-conditioned environment.
OmegA’s first stage completed a static fire test in May last year. The U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop a $792M launch services agreement award in 2018 to design and test the launch vehicle.
Charlie Precourt, vice president for propulsion systems at Northrop, said the recent test also demonstrated OmegA as a potential replacement for the RD-180 engine.
He added that the company designed the rocket "to use the most reliable propulsion available to ensure exceptional mission assurance for our customers."
The company noted it performs launch platform modification activities at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and aims to conduct an an initial certification flight by spring 2021. According to Northrop, the rocket is intended to support national security space launch missions under the U.S. Space Force.