The German rocket startup Rocket Factory Augsburg this week unveiled the second stage of its planned rocket, with its Helix engine attached.
This second stage will be used for engine tests in Sweden.
“The campaign will feature three main tests: The first test will last a few seconds, followed by one for around 10 seconds, then the full flight duration. Every engine is acceptance tested. Then each engine is fired a second time during stage acceptance and then started a third time for flight. We have already proven that we can fire the same engine 3x without switching out components with our long-duration hot-fire campaign. Now we want to repeat that achievement with a full upper stage.”
The company hopes to use this stage in the first orbital test flight of its RFA-1 rocket, targeting a launch late next year. That rocket will use nine more Helix engines in its first stage, and will thus be able to put into orbit slightly more mass than Firefly’s Alpha rocket or payload.
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