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February 28, 2020

Northrop Grumman conducts OmegA rocket second stage testing

Northrop Grumman has tested the second stage of its new OmegA rocket in Promontory, Utah, US.

Northrop Grumman has tested the second stage of its new OmegA rocket in Promontory, Utah, US.

The full-scale static fire test saw the second stage motor fired for nearly 140 seconds. It produced upwards of 785,000lb of thrust consuming around 340,000lb of solid propellant.

This verified the motor’s ballistics and thermal performance along with the steering control and performance in a cold-conditioned environment. According to the company, 500 channels of data were collected by the test team to verify the motor.

The company said the development of OmegA is on-track following the successful test.

Northrop Grumman propulsion systems vice-president Charlie Precourt said: “Northrop Grumman designed OmegA to use the most reliable propulsion available to ensure exceptional mission assurance for our customers.

“Today’s firing is a significant accomplishment that demonstrates a domestic solution for the RD-180 rocket engine replacement.”

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The first certification flight is expected to be launched in 2021.

OmegA Launch System has been developed to support the US Space Force’s National Security Space Launch programme.

Northrop Grumman was awarded a Launch Services agreement valued $792m in October 2018.

This contract includes detailed design and verification of the OmegA launch vehicle and launching sites.

The company has earlier completed hot static test in May last year.

Development of OmegA launch system includes additional critical payloads to launch the system. Multiple flight-proven technologies have been integrated with the system.

In addition to accommodating national security payloads, the rocket has the capability to serve civil and commercial markets too.

Currently, Mobile Launch Platform-3 is being modified for OmegA’s assembly and launch platform.

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