Northrop Grumman has completed a static fire test of the second-stage engineÂ for a rocket designed to carry national security, commercial and government payloads into space.
TheÂ motor of OmegA launch vehicle generated at least 785K pounds of thrust within 140 seconds during theÂ full-scale demonstration that took place in Promontory, Utah. The test sought to demonstrateÂ the thermal and ballistic peformance of the engine and how it would perform when placedÂ in a cold-conditioned environment.
OmegAâ€™s first stageÂ completed a static fire test inÂ May last year. The U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop a $792MÂ launch services agreement award in 2018 to design and test the launch vehicle.
Charlie Precourt, vice president for propulsion systems atÂ Northrop, said the recent test also demonstrated OmegA as a potential replacement forÂ the RD-180 engine.
He added that the company designed the rocket "to use the most reliable propulsion available to ensure exceptional mission assurance for our customers."
The company noted it performs launch platform modification activities at NASAâ€™s Kennedy Space Center and aims to conduct anÂ an initial certification flight by springÂ 2021. According to Northrop, the rocket is intended to support national security space launch missions under the U.S. Space Force.