Headlines > News > Two Different Air Launch Projects Test at Mojave

Two Different Air Launch Projects Test at Mojave

Published by Robin on Tue Jul 26, 2005 2:45 am
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Alan’s Mojave Airport Weblog — July 25, 2005

Mojave’s status as being the place for private space development companies to do their testing has been reinforced in the last few months with two separate – but similar – launch vehicle development projects

Air Launch LLC performed a fit check of their air-launched QuickReach rocket mockup in March in the northeast corner of the airport, adjacent to the old whirl stand used by the Rotary Rocket project back in 1999 (the circular concrete pad in the top photos). Air Launch’s concept is to drop their rocket out of the back of a flying C-17 Cargomaster, and the tests performed at Mojave confirmed the rocket’s ability to slide out of a simulated C-17 cargo bay (long “box” in photo at lower left). With the tests completed, the pit dug to accommodate has since been refilled. There’s more in common with Rotary Rocket than just the site: Air Launch’s Program Manager is Gary Hudson, the co-founder of Rotary. They’re web site is at www.airlaunchllc.com

In May and June, Transformational Space Corp., or t/Space, flight tested their rocket release concept utilizing Scaled Composites’ Proteus. These views are from a captive-carry test flight on May 13, and the rocket mockup was dropped three times, on May 24, June 7 and June 14. The mockup is a 23% scale model of a proposed 4-person crew capsule (called the CXV) and its AirLaunch LLC-produced QuickReach II booster. These particular flight tests were to demonstrate the concept of t/Space’s Trapeze/Lanyard (TLAD) air drop system. There’s more than just the booster connecting AirLaunch LLC and t/Space…Gary Hudson is t/Space’s co-founder and chief designer. And there’s more: the program manager for the TLAD is Marti Sarigul-Klijn, who flew all three flights of the Rotary Rocket. Marti’s copilot was Brian Binnie, of SpaceShipOne fame. What a small world space is! If you want more info on the recent t/Space flights, click here.

Go to Alan’s Mojave Airport Weblog to see the photos

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