Upham, NM – New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced today a
successful launch over the weekend of an advanced sounding rocket designed and
built by Armadillo Aerospace. The launch took place from Spaceport America’s
vertical launch complex on Sun., Dec. 4. The test flight was a non-public,
unpublished event at the request of Armadillo Aerospace, as the company is
testing proprietary advanced launch technologies.
Saturday’s Armadillo launch
successfully lifted off at approximately 11:00 a.m. (MST), which was within the
dedicated, five-hour launch window, and reached its projected sub-orbital
altitude of 137,500 feet (41.91 km).
“This successful test of
our “STIG A” reusable sub-orbital rocket technology represents major progress
for the Armadillo Aerospace flight test program,” said Neil Milburn, Vice
President of Program Management at Armadillo Aerospace. “The flight
successfully demonstrated many of the technologies that we need for our manned
sub-orbital program.” Armadillo Aerospace is a leading developer of reusable
rocket-powered vehicles and plans to provide a platform for civilian access to
suborbital space via its partnership with Space Adventures, Ltd.
“Spaceport America has
been an ideal launch facility for this kind of vehicle R&D testing
activity,” said John Carmack, President and
CTO of Armadillo Aerospace.
The vehicle housed a scientific payload as well. The experiment was designed, built, tested,
integrated, and performed by a team of undergraduate students at the School of
Aeronautics and Astronautics in the College of Engineering at Purdue
University. The experiment studied a
liquid and gas flow process that is sensitive to the gravity and acceleration
levels encountered during spaceflight.
The latest launch
represents yet another successful experience at Spaceport America, the nation’s
first purpose-built commercial spaceport. “We are extremely pleased to support
Armadillo Aerospace as they conduct their high altitude vehicle flight testing,
and look forward to hosting their NASA-funded suborbital research launches.
Spaceport America continues to set the precedent for safe, efficient, effective
service for commercial spaceflight customers,” said NMSA Executive Director
Christine Anderson. This Armadillo Aerospace launch marks the thirteenth vertical
launch test from the Spaceport America Vertical Launch Complex since 2006.
About Armadillo Aerospace
in 2000, Armadillo Aerospace has an unequaled experience base with over 200
flight tests spread over a dozen different vehicles. The company has done work
for NASA and the United States Air Force, and flown vehicles at every X-Prize
Cup and Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge event, including those held in
New Mexico from 2006 to 2008.
information, please visit www.armadilloaerospace.com.
About Space Adventures
Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world’s first
private space explorers, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with an office in
Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for
spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon,
Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs
and reservations on future suborbital spacecraft.
For more information,
please visit www.spaceadventures.com.
About Spaceport America
America has been providing commercial launch services since 2006. Phase One of
the construction for the spaceport is expected to be complete in early 2012. Phase Two of the construction and pre-operations
activities will follow, including the development of a world-class Visitor
Experience for students, tourists and space launch customers. Officials at
Spaceport America have been working closely with entrepreneurial space leaders
like Armadillo Aerospace, Virgin Galactic, and UP Aerospace, as well as
established aerospace firms like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and MOOG-FTS to
develop commercial spaceflight at the new facility. The economic impact of
launches, tourism and new construction at Spaceport America are already
delivering on the promise of economic development to the people of New Mexico.
information, please visit: www.spaceportamerica.com