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Draper to Develop Flight Software for Rocket-Powered Stratolaunch Vehicle; Neil Adams Quoted

Stratolaunch Talon-A
Stratolaunch Talon-A

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory has agreed to develop guidance, navigation and control software that Stratolaunch will use on a liquid rocket-powered reusable air vehicle for hypersonic tests.

The nonprofit company said Thursday it will provide a flight technology for the Stratolaunch Talon-A, an autonomous aircraft designed to fly at a speed of Mach 6 and function as a test bed for public or private sector experiments.

Neil Adams, principal director of space systems at Draper, said the multiyear agreement gives the organization an opportunity to facilitate a “hypersonic flight envelope.”

He added that Stratolaunch vehicles can travel at a speed up of more than 3,800 miles per hour in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The aerospace company established by the late Microsoft founder Paul Allen flew the world’s largest plane, weighing approximately 500K pounds, in April of last year.

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Written by Matthew Nelson

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