Space Image

Stratolaunch Conducts Captive Carry Flight of Talon-A Hypersonic Vehicle

Stratolaunch, LLC has successfully completed a captive carry flight featuring the first powered Talon-A hypersonic vehicle, TA-1.

  • More details coming soon...
Zac Aubert

Zac Aubert

Tue Dec 05 2023Written by Zac Aubert

Stratolaunch, LLC has successfully completed a captive carry flight featuring the first powered Talon-A hypersonic vehicle, TA-1.

The milestone flight marked the twelfth for the company's cutting-edge launch platform, Roc, and was the inaugural instance of the aircraft transporting a Talon vehicle with live propellant. This mission was a pivotal component of the buildup approach for Talon-A's upcoming inaugural powered flight.

The mission, lasting a total of three hours and 22 minutes, represents a substantial stride towards Stratolaunch's immediate objective of executing a powered flight with the Talon-A vehicle, TA-1. A key focus of the mission was the evaluation of Talon-A's propulsion system and its performance in live propellant conditions.

Simultaneously, the flight sought to validate Roc and TA-1's telemetry systems, critical for ensuring situational awareness during the release sequence and readiness for powered flight.

"Talon-A’s propulsion system supports a liquid-propellant rocket engine that provides the thrust needed for Talon-A to reach hypersonic speeds. While we have conducted several successful ground tests fueling and igniting the system, we needed to evaluate how the system performs in the flight environment prior to release...Initial results from today’s flight show that the system has performed as predicted, and we will determine our next steps pending the full data review of the test.” - Dr. Zachary Krevor, Chief Executive Officer for Stratolaunch

Concurrently with the TA-1 testing, Stratolaunch is actively advancing the manufacturing of the TA-2 and TA-3 vehicles, representing the first fully reusable units in the Talon-A product line. This achievement aligns with the company's commitment to technological advancements and is poised to usher in a new era of reusable hypersonic vehicles.

In addition to achieving this significant test milestone, Stratolaunch recently disclosed two pivotal flight contracts.

One involves collaboration with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, underlining the company's strategic involvement in advancing aerospace technologies. The second contract is with the Navy's Multiservice Advanced Capability Test Bed (MACH-TB) program, positioning Stratolaunch as a subcontractor to Leidos/Dynetics.

Stratolaunch's successful captive carry flight represents not only the achievement of a major milestone for the company but another advancement in the broader pursuit of hypersonic technology.