TA-1’s Historic First Flight by Stratolaunch

Close-up of Stratolaunch TA-1 hypersonic test vehicle attached to carrier aircraft wing at sunset, marking its first powered flight.

Stratolaunch TA-1 Soars: Pioneering the Future of Hypersonic Flight Testing

Stratolaunch has made a groundbreaking announcement: the successful completion of the first powered flight of the Talon-A test vehicle, TA-1. This significant event not only represents a monumental milestone in the realm of privately funded aerospace endeavors but also signals the United States’ growing capabilities in developing reusable hypersonic test vehicles. The successful test flight stands as a testament to Stratolaunch’s commitment to advancing high-speed technology and its potential to revolutionize future aerospace missions.

“Today was a great day for the Stratolaunch team. I am extremely proud of their perseverance to reach this point. The successful outcome of the test is a direct result of the team’s technical prowess and professionalism”

Dr. Zachary Krevor, President and CEO of Stratolaunch.

Achieving New Heights

The TA-1’s inaugural flight was meticulously designed to validate several primary objectives: ensuring a safe air-launch release, engine ignition, sustained climb in altitude, and achieving a controlled water landing. Impressively, the vehicle met all designated objectives, demonstrating the vehicle’s capabilities and the team’s dedication to safety and precision.

Stratolaunch carrier aircraft taking off from Mojave Desert airfield, showcasing its dual fuselage design and wide wingspan for hypersonic vehicle launch.
Credit Stratolaunch Matt Hartman
  • Vehicle: TA-1 Talon-A Test Vehicle
  • Flight Objectives: Safe release, engine ignition, sustained climb, controlled landing
  • Speed Achieved: High supersonic (approx. Mach 5)
  • Next Steps: TA-2’s first flight, TA-3 manufacturing, Spirit of Mojave modifications

Supersonic Speeds and Data Collection

Dr. Krevor shared insights into the flight’s outcomes, noting, “While I can’t share the specific altitude and speed TA-1 reached due to proprietary agreements with our customers, we are pleased to confirm the vehicle reached high supersonic speeds approaching Mach 5.” This significant achievement highlights Stratolaunch’s ability to collect crucial data at remarkable speeds, offering tremendous value to their customers and laying a solid groundwork for future test flights.

Future Developments and TA-2’s Anticipation

The success of TA-1 has set the stage for further advancements. Stratolaunch is concurrently progressing with the manufacturing of TA-3, the next iteration in the Talon-A product line, and is making modifications to its additional launch platform, the Spirit of Mojave. These efforts underscore the company’s commitment to advancing its reusable hypersonic vehicle capabilities, with eyes set on TA-2’s inaugural flight scheduled later this year.

Engagement and Transparency

In an effort to maintain transparency and engage with the broader community, Stratolaunch announced a virtual press conference set for March 9 at 2:30 p.m. PST. This event aims to share initial flight results and address inquiries from the press, showcasing the company’s commitment to open communication and community involvement.

Stratolaunch’s Mission and Contact

At its core, Stratolaunch is driven by a mission to advance high-speed technology through innovative design, manufacturing, and operation of world-class aerospace vehicles. The company’s recent achievements underscore its position as a leader in the aerospace industry and its dedication to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.


The Stratolaunch TA-1’s first powered flight marks a significant milestone in aerospace history, signifying the dawn of a new era in hypersonic testing. This success paves the way for further innovations and reaffirms Stratolaunch’s commitment to enhancing high-speed technology. The implications of this achievement extend beyond the immediate successes, promising a future where hypersonic and reusable aerospace technologies become a standard in advancing global scientific and security missions.


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