X-60
Role Experimental aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Generation Orbit
Primary user Air Force Research Laboratory

The Generation Orbit X-60 (GOLauncher 1 or GO1) is an air-launched single stage suborbital rocket vehicle produced by Generation Orbit.

Design and development

The first two segments of the GOLauncher 1 Inert Test Article (GO1-ITA) underwent a series of structural ground tests at Mercer University's Engineering Research Center (MERC) in December 2013.[1]

In July, 2014, GO was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Aerospace Systems Directorate (AFRL/RQ) for development of GOLauncher 1. The nine-month effort, worth $150,000, focused on requirements definition, configuration trade studies, and trajectory design.[2][3][4][5] In October 2018, the designation X-60A was assigned to the GO1 vehicle.[6]

Applications of the X-60A include access to high altitudes for microgravity, astrophysics, hypersonics testing and research of avionics. On July 20, 2014, GO flew its first captive carry test platform using a Learjet 35.[7][8]

References

  1. ^ "Structural Test Success With Generation Orbit". Mercer Engineering Research Center. 2014-02-14.
  2. ^ "Air Launch Testbed for Endoatmospheric Hypersonic Trajectories". SBIR/STRR.
  3. ^ "Generation Orbit Awarded Phase I SBIR with AFRL for GOLauncher 1 Hypersonic Testbed". Generation Orbit Press Release. 2014-07-09. Archived from the original on 2014-10-05.
  4. ^ "Generation Orbit Awarded SBIR Grant for GOLauncher 1 Hypersonic Testbed". Parabolic Arc. 2014-07-09.
  5. ^ "Generation Orbit Awarded Phase I SBIR Grant". SpaceRef Business. 2014-07-09.
  6. ^ "U.S. Air Force Designates GO1 Hypersonic Flight Research Vehicle as X-60A".
  7. ^ Nate Monroe (2014-07-30). "Spaceport test flight is a giant leap for launch facility in Jacksonville". The Florida Times-Union.
  8. ^ "Guest column: Cecil Airport is poised to become a player in space industry". The Florida Times-Union. 2014-09-11.