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Mon, Mar 11, 2024

'Approaching Mach 5' Stratolaunch Executes TA-1 Powered Flight

First Powered Flight of TA-1 Hypersonic Test Vehicle A Success

Stratolaunch is reporting that it has successfully completed the first powered flight of the Talon-A test vehicle, TA-1. This first flight represents a major milestone in the development of the country's first privately funded, reusable hypersonic test capability. 

Primary objectives for the flight test included accomplishing safe air-launch release of the TA-1 vehicle, engine ignition, acceleration, sustained climb in altitude, and a controlled water landing. 

"Today was a great day for the Stratolaunch team. I am extremely proud of their perseverance to reach this point. The successful outcome of the test is a direct result of the team’s technical prowess and professionalism," noted Dr. Zachary Krevor, President and CEO of Stratolaunch.

“While I can’t share the specific altitude and speed TA-1 reached due to proprietary agreements with our customers, we are pleased to share that in addition to meeting all primary and customer objectives of the flight, we reached high supersonic speeds approaching Mach 5 and collected a great amount of data at an incredible value to our customers... 

Our goal with this flight was to continue our risk reduction approach for TA-2’s first reusable flight and be steadfast on our commitment of delivering maximum value to our customers. We are excited to review the data from today’s test and use it as we plan our next steps toward TA-2’s first flight later this year," he added.  

Concurrent to TA-1 testing, Stratolaunch is progressing on the manufacturing of TA-3, the second fully reusable vehicle in that Talon-A product line. The company is also beginning modifications to its additional launch platform, the Spirit of Mojave, a modified Boeing 747-400.   

Stratolaunch's reinvigorated mission is to 'advance high-speed technology through innovative design, manufacturing, and operation of world-class aerospace vehicles.' 

FMI: www.stratolaunch.com

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