Stratolaunch Conducts First Hypersonic Vehicle Separation Test


Stratolaunch has conducted the first separation release test using its TA-0 Talon-A test vehicle and Roc carrier aircraft. The flight launched from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base and lasted for 4 hours and 8 minutes. According to the company, the test demonstrated that the Talon-A launch system “can cleanly and safely separate hypersonic vehicles from Roc’s center-wing pylon” and “confirmed telemetry between the vehicles and Vandenberg Space Force Base’s communication assets.”

“Today’s test was exceptional,” said Stratolaunch CEO and President Zachary Krevor. “It was exhilarating to see TA-0 release safely away from Roc, and I commend our team and partners. Our hardware and data collection systems performed as anticipated, and we now stand at the precipice of achieving hypersonic flight.”

Stratolaunch unveiled the TA-0 in May 2022, completing the vehicle’s first captive carry flight in October that year. The company is aiming to conduct the first hypersonic test flight using its TA-1 prototype, the first powered Talon-A, in late summer 2023. Designed for use as a reusable autonomous hypersonic test bed, Stratolaunch’s Talon-A is expected to be able to reach speeds above Mach 5 and carry customizable payloads for government and commercial customers.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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