Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Stratolaunch to test at SSC

An agreement to test engines at a NASA center in South Mississippi is the latest sign that Stratolaunch is considering developing its own launch vehicle for its giant aircraft. The Space Act Agreement between Stratolaunch and NASA's Stennis Space Center, signed Sept. 13, covers "reimbursable testing and related support services to Stratolaunch to support propulsion, vehicle, and ground support system development and testing activities." An annex to that agreement says it involves "testing of its propulsion system test article element 1" at the E1 test stand. Stratolaunch plans to deliver the test article to Stennis for "fit tests and checkouts" by the end of May 2018, with the test series completed by the end of 2018. Stratolaunch will pay NASA $5.1 million under the reimbursable agreement to cover costs of the test campaign, including an upfront payment of $1 million. (Source: SpaceNews, 11/15/17)