Stratolaunch is building a system for tests at more than five times the speed of sound. An important step has now been completed: Succeeding in separating the craft Talon A from the mothership Roc.
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The American company Stratolaunch wants to offer the possibility of carrying out experiments at five times the speed of sound or more, i.e. hypersonic speed. This is a possibility that is mainly interesting in military contexts, for example for robots. But there are also hopes that people will be able to travel that fast in aircraft in the future.
The system that Stratolaunch designed consists of the enormous aircraft Roc, which is the world’s largest in terms of span (117 meters), and the hypersonic vehicle Talon A, which hangs underneath until it is released and flies on.
Stratolaunch now announces that, for the first time, it has completed the successful separation of a test version of the Talon A, designated TA-0. The flight started from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Western Range in California and lasted just over four hours. It was the eleventh flight with the Roc.
TA-0 is not hypersonic. However, the next test vehicle, TA-1, will be. The first flight of the TA-1 is planned for late this summer.
– Today’s test was exceptional. It was exciting to see the TA-0 safely separated from the Roc. Our hardware and data acquisition systems performed as expected and we are now on the verge of achieving hypersonic flight, said Zachary Krevor, CEO of Stratolaunch, in a statement.
Stratolaunch was founded in 2011 by, among others, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who passed away in 2018. The goal was originally to offer airborne launches of satellites, for example. After Paul Allen’s passing, the company underwent a change of ownership and changed its strategy to instead offer a hypersonic test environment.
Source: Ny Teknik – nyheter inom teknik och innovation by www.nyteknik.se.
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