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The competition heats up: NASA has signed an agreement to provide testing facilities to Generation Orbit so it can do test flights of its air-launched rocket.
Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO) is pleased to announce the signing of a Space Act Agreement with NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) to collaboratively pursue the flight test and envelope clearance for the GOLauncher 1 air launched rocket vehicle. Utilizing AFRC’s experience and capabilities in flight test engineering for air launch rocket systems, the two year program will demonstrate integration of the GOLauncher 1 Inert Test Article (GO1-ITA) with NASA’s Gulfstream III research aircraft, captive carry flight testing, and release testing. Further, NASA AFRC will continue the development of its store separation analysis capability, eventually validating the toolset through release flight testing of the GO1-ITA.
Like many similar past SAA agreements, NASA will provide no money, but will make its facilities available for testing at no charge. For a new company like this, this availability will help them enormously, and is more in line with what NASA was originally designed to do.