Press Release

XCOR EZ-Rocket Tests In-Flight Engine Ignition; Eighth Flight Test of Vehicle

By SpaceRef Editor
January 25, 2002
Filed under ,

XCOR Aerospace continued the
EZ-Rocket test program today with a test flight demonstrating shut down and
restart of the rocket engines during the flight.
The 6 minute 57 second
flight took place at the Mojave Civilian Test Flight Center in Mojave, CA,
after the previously scheduled attempt on January 22 was scrubbed due to high
winds.

Today’s flight was piloted by Mike Melvill, a highly experienced test
pilot assisting XCOR.
Melvill said: “It gives you a great feeling of
confidence to reach down, flip the switch on, and feel the kick as the engine
lights.”
The flight took off under rocket power and climbed rapidly to
5,000 feet, where Melvill leveled off while Dick Rutan, Chief Test Pilot for
XCOR Aerospace, flying the chase plane, caught up with the EZ-Rocket.
With
the chase plane in position, Melvill shut down one rocket engine for
19 seconds and then re-started the engine.
The second engine was shut down
for 10 seconds and was also successfully re-started.
The EZ-Rocket climbed to
8,100 feet before propellant exhaustion after 2 minutes, 18 seconds of powered
flight.
The eighth flight of the EZ-Rocket concluded with a perfect power-off
landing.

XCOR CEO and President Jeff Greason stated: “From XCOR’s beginning, we
have been guided by the vision of rocket operations being as routine as any
other form of transportation.
Pulling the EZ-Rocket from its hangar,
conducting the flight, and towing back to its hangar only took 1 hour,
15 minutes.
Today’s smooth ground operation and flawless in-flight rocket
engine shutdown and restart show that we’re getting there.”

XCOR Aerospace is a California corporation located in Mojave, California.
The company is in the business of developing and producing safe, reliable and
re-usable rocket engines.

SpaceRef staff editor.