Generation Orbit Launch Services

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Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO)
Industry Aerospace
Founded April 25, 2011 (2011-04-25)
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia
Products Hypersonic Flight Testing
Number of employees

Generation Orbit Launch Services (GO) is an American aerospace company based in Atlanta, Georgia that is developing the technology for launch services for small payloads.[1] The air-launch approach developed by GO and its partners offers flexible launch capabilities, poised to reduce fixed infrastructure needs, launch costs, and the time from contract signature to launch for government and industry customers alike.


GO was founded on April 25, 2011 as a subsidiary company of SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc.[2][3] In 2013, GO competed in the NewSpace Business Plan Competition (BPC), winning first place and the $100,000 prize.[4][5] The BPC was administered by the Space Frontier Foundation and held at Stanford University. Following the Business Plan Competition, GO was selected in September 2013 for NASA's Enabling eXploration and Technology (NEXT) contract, with an award of $2.1 million.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12]


Generation Orbit is developing the GOLauncher family, a series of high-speed flight and space launch systems designed to lower costs, improve responsiveness, and increase overall mission flexibility.

GO-FET is a captive carry test platform for avionics, spacecraft hardware, fluids experiments, CubeSats, nanosats, and pre-release flight maneuver testing. The GO-FET configuration uses a Learjet 35 aircraft platform that was first flown on July 30, 2014.


The GOLauncher 1 (GO1) is an air-launched single stage suborbital rocket vehicle. The first two segments of the GOLauncher 1 Inert Test Article (GO1-ITA) underwent a series of structural ground tests at Mercer University's Engineering Research Center (MERC) in December 2013.[13]

In July, 2014, GO was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Aerospace Systems Directorate (AFRL/RQ) for development of GOLauncher 1. The nine-month effort, worth $150,000, focused on requirements definition, configuration trade studies, and trajectory design.[14][15][16][17] In October 2018, the designation X-60A was assigned to the GO1 vehicle.[18]

Applications of the X-60A include access to high altitudes for microgravity, astrophysics, hypersonics testing and research of avionics. On July 20, 2014, GO flew its first captive carry test platform using a Learjet 35.[19][20]


  1. ^ Ben Iannotta (2014). "2016 Could Bring Breakthrough for Small Satellites". AIAA.
  2. ^ Stewart Money (2013-02-20). "Smallsat Launch Industry Begins to Take Off". Innerspace.
  3. ^ Dan Leone (2013-11-26). "Startup Generation Orbit Launch Service Bets Big on 'Small Space'".
  4. ^ David Todd (2013-11-27). "Generation Orbit GOLauncher wins prize as latest contender for NASA cubesat launch contracts". Seradata.
  5. ^ Viacheslav Pronskyi (2013-11-27). "GENERATION ORBIT: BUSINESS PLAN THAT WON NASA-SPONSORED COMPETITION". Space Digest.
  6. ^ George H. Diller (2013-09-30). "NASA Awards First CubeSat-Class Launch Services Contract". NASA.
  7. ^ "Generation Orbit Wins NASA Launch Contract". Moonandback]]. 2013-10-01.
  8. ^ Doug Messier (2013-09-30). "Generation Orbit Wins NASA Contract for Dedicated CubeSat Launch". Parabolic Arc.
  9. ^ "Generation Orbit Awarded NASA Contract for Launch of GOLauncher 2". Georgia Tech. 2013-09-30.
  10. ^ "NASA Awards CubeSat-class Launch Contract". ARRL. 2013-10-08.
  12. ^ "Nanosats are go!". The Economist. 2014-06-07.
  13. ^ "Structural Test Success With Generation Orbit". Mercer Engineering Research Center. 2014-02-14.
  14. ^ "Air Launch Testbed for Endoatmospheric Hypersonic Trajectories". SBIR/STRR.
  15. ^ "Generation Orbit Awarded Phase I SBIR with AFRL for GOLauncher 1 Hypersonic Testbed". Generation Orbit Press Release. 2014-07-09. Archived from the original on 2014-10-05. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ "Generation Orbit Awarded SBIR Grant for GOLauncher 1 Hypersonic Testbed". Parabolic Arc. 2014-07-09.
  17. ^ "Generation Orbit Awarded Phase I SBIR Grant". SpaceRef Business. 2014-07-09.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Nate Monroe (2014-07-30). "Spaceport test flight is a giant leap for launch facility in Jacksonville". The Florida Times-Union.
  20. ^ "Guest column: Cecil Airport is poised to become a player in space industry". The Florida Times-Union. 2014-09-11.

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