- Press Release
- Mar 21, 2023
Evolution Space Executes Successful Subscale Flight Test In Advance of Space Mission
Evolution Space, a Mojave, Calif-based solid propulsion and launch provider, announced today the successful completion of a subscale test flight campaign on Saturday, February 18, 2023, from its test facility near Ridgecrest, Calif.
The test mission, named Expressionless, was designed to test the first generation of Evolution’s in-house flight control system, which the company plans to expand into its own guidance, navigation, and control system over the next 18 months. “Owning all elements of that IP is core to our vertical integration-based business model” said Steve Heller, Evolution’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “This mission was an incredible first step toward that goal.”
The test vehicle – 3 inches in diameter, 7 feet tall and roughly 30 pounds fully fueled – lofted the flight control system to an altitude of approximately 48,000 feet AMSL at just under 3 times the speed of sound, at which point parachutes were deployed and the vehicle recovered roughly 3 miles northwest of the launch point. “It’s important to note that in addition to the avionics, all other systems of the test vehicle performed nominally, further validating those elements of our development program and demonstrating our ability to provide this service for future customers,” Heller added. “Like many launch companies, it’s strategic we have the ability to be our own customer. Like SpaceX and Starlink, it’s a win/win.”
In the process, the company continued its cross-mission objective of building an internal flight database to refine its simulation and ballistics modeling. “Our entryway to the development program Steve and I have discussed was to record redundant, high-fidelity flight data upon which controls can slowly be built” said Dr. Wyatt Harris, Evolution’s Director of Flight Systems. “The data look fantastic, and the discrepancies are negligible which is exactly what we were looking for.” This will enable the company to begin building control capability and performing independent flight control tests later this year, Harris added.
The company plans to fly its first full-scale space mission, Gold Chain Cowboy, in Q2 of this year.
ABOUT EVOLUTION SPACE
Evolution Space, based in Mojave, Calif., is a provider of rapidly-responsive and deployable, containerized launch solutions for the next generation of nanosats and defense. The company specializes in tailored solid propulsion solutions and suborbital loft vehicles. For more information, please visit www.evolutionspace.com