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Astrobotic and U.S. Air Force collaborating on rocket technology development




Astrobotic has announced that it is collaborating with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to conduct joint research and development of rocket technologies.

The agreement between the two organizations aims to develop advanced liquid rocket engines, rotating detonation rocket engines (RDRE), and on-base rocket flight testing capabilities.


This collaboration will help Astrobotic advance in the design, development, testing, and demonstration of new commercial space launch capabilities.

The number of advantages of Astrobotic include tactically response space access, hypersonic propulsion and testing, and tactical point-to-point rocket transport of cargo.


Astrobotic Launch Vehicle (Image Credit: Astrobotic)

The partnership will also enable AFRL to utilize Astrobotic’s Xodiac and Xogdor-class vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL) rockets. This helps to test new liquid rocket engines, integrated systems, payloads, and concepts of operation to improve the operation capabilities.

As part of this agreement, Astrobotic will co-locate its Propulsion and Test department with AFRL subject matter experts at Edwards Air Force Base. On the other hand, Astrobotic will get access to AFRL’s storied “Rocket Ride” at Edwards AFB.

This storied rocket ride is used for the testing of powerful launch vehicle engines including space shuttle, Saturn, Titan, Atlas, Delta, Thor, and Minuteman rockets.




Mel Trivalo is a senior author at, he began his early career in electronics in 2021 and turned his attention towards Space and Rocket Science. Mel likes to explore new technologies and swings baseball to run through creative thoughts.

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