Recently Exos Aerospace performed a “very successful” test launch of a reusable suborbital sounding rocket from New Mexico.
Exos’ first Suborbital Autonomous Rocket with GuidancE or SARGE, the rocket lifted off from Spaceport America in New Mexico at approximately 2:15 p.m. Eastern.
Exos didn’t immediately disclose technical details about the flight, such as the peak altitude, but in a live webcast of the launch appeared to be satisfied with the vehicle’s performance, despite the vehicle appearing to veer from its vertical trajectory briefly after liftoff.
“This was a very successful test for us,” said John Quinn, Chief Operating Officer of Exos, unveiled on the Exo’s webcast. “We’re very excited that we had all of our recovery systems operational.”
The launch was carried out under a commercial launch license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year. At the time, Exos was planning a launch in early April but postponed that launch because of technical problems with the vehicle, notable issues with its inertial measurement units, that pushed back the launch by several months.
Exos, featuring a number of veterans of now-defunct launch company Armadillo Aerospace, has been working for the last few years on SARGE, a vehicle designed to carry payloads of up to 50 kilograms on suborbital flights. Prior to this launch, Quinn said the company hoped this “pathfinder” launch would help it secure new customers, including NASA’s Flight Opportunities program for parabolic and suborbital research payloads.
In addition, Exos also announced plans to develop a small orbital launch vehicle, called Jaguar, earlier this month, based on technology developed for SARGE as well as software licensed from NASA’s Morpheus lander technology demonstration program. The company didn’t disclose when is Jaguar expected to make its first flight.
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