DARPA XS-1 Spaceplane


   DARPA/Boeing Company

DARPA’s Experimental Spaceplane program (formerly known as XS-1) aims to build and fly the first of an entirely new class of hypersonic aircraft. The Boeing Company ist federführend.

The vehicle would be launched with no external boosters, powered solely by self-contained cryogenic propellants. Upon reaching a high suborbital altitude, the booster would release an expendable upper stage able to deploy a 3,000-pound satellite to polar orbit. The reusable first stage would then return to Earth, landing horizontally like an aircraft.

The demonstrator’s propulsion system is an Aerojet Rocketdyne AR-22 engine. It will be assembled from components of the rocket engine that remained from early versions of the SSME which was manufactured by Rocketdyne.

Masten Space Systems
Masten Space Systems successfully concluded the design, build, and test period for the first development unit of its
Broadsword 25 rocket engine, funded as a technology demonstration under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program (Xephyr upper stage).
The dual-expander cycle Broadsword 25 is a CH2/LOX engine with a full-throttle. The sea-level thrust rating of 25,000 lbf (
111.2 kN). Masten initiated development of the Broadsword in August 2015, as a reusable engine suitable for use in both boost and upper-stage applications.
Masten aims to continue Broadsword development over the course of 2017 and 2018 in collaboration with NASA under the Tipping Point program, and anticipates moving into flight qualification after the conclusion of that effort.