Stratolaunch systems continue to progress towards their first launch by completing the first hot-fire tests of the PGA engine preburner. This milestone marks the beginning of development for Stratolaunch’s in-house rockets that are planned to air launch from their massive carrier aircraft.
The tests are being conducted at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi earlier this month. The full-scale preburner has been tested up to 70 percent power so far, and will be tested further in the coming months, including increases in both duration and power levels.
Powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, the engine will efficiently deliver 200,000 pounds of thrust.
In 7 days, our team went from learning to start the #PGAEngine preburner to testing its power level at 70%! See a video of the testing here. #NewUSEngine pic.twitter.com/Y9aUEcgwWt
— Stratolaunch (@Stratolaunch) November 12, 2018
By beginning development of their own in-house rocket engine, Stratolaunch continues to move towards launch operations. The full-scale preburner was designed, fabricated, assembled, and tested in less than one year. Stratolaunch called the campaign “one of the fastest engine development programs to date.”
The Stratolaunch propulsion team made additive manufacturing a priority in order to enable this rapid timeline. The preburner is ...