Test and Operation of the Stratolaunch Talon-A Hypersonic Research Testbed Vehicle, Vandenberg Space Force Base, California
Stratolaunch, operating from the Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV) in southern California, proposes to perform launch and non-launch operations as part of this project, utilizing a Carrier Aircraft to transport the Talon-A vehicle to the required altitude and location for each test or hypersonic operational mission. The U.S. Space Force (USSF) will serve as the launch control authority for Stratolaunch’s tests and operations. The FAA will license launch operations and approve related airspace closures for launch operations. The DoN will authorize the use of facilities at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), San Nicolas Island (SNI) in the event that an alternate landing of the Talon-A is necessary. The Proposed Project would include activities at MHV; Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB); SNI; and the Broad Ocean Area (BOA) off the coast of California. Non-launch operations would include captive carry events of the Talon-A vehicle, which would not release the Talon-A from the Carrier Aircraft. In addition, non-launch operations would include up to two separation tests of a Talon-A test article to test the release mechanism on the Carrier Aircraft and drop a simulated Talon-A into the ocean. Non-launch operations would also include glide flights where the Talon-A vehicle would be released from the Carrier Aircraft but the engine on the Talon-A would not power the vehicle and the vehicle would land at VSFB's runway. Launch operations would include powered flight of the reusable Talon-A over the BOA off the coast of California with runway landings at VSFB in addition to an alternate landing site at SNI.