More developments from Masten

The announcement of the Masten/XCOR partnership on Tuesday to pursue lander testbed opportunities with NASA might leave some to conclude that Masten was turning to XCOR entirely for all of its engine needs. That is not the case: Masten is continuing to develop and test its own engines, using LOX and isopropyl alcohol propellants, for its other suborbital vehicles. And one of those engines got an interesting test yesterday:

This was a free flight of Masten’s XA-0.1B “Xombie” vehicle in Mojave. What made this test unique was that they turned off the engine in flight, and a few seconds later restarted it, the first in-flight restart of an engine during their test program. “The ability to turn off our engine, re-ignite it in flight, successfully regain control and land was the next big milestone as we expand our flight envelope to include high altitude flights,” company CEO Dave Masten said in a statement. “Each milestone we hit makes the path to space much clearer.” Masten now plans to turn to efforts needed for faster and higher altitude flights, including supersonic aerodynamics.

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