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Tue, Jun 12, 2007

TGV Rockets Completes First Successful Test Firings

Small Aerospace Firm Achieves Big Milestone

TGV Rockets, Inc. announced last week it has successfully completed critical test firings of a technologically advanced throttleable rocket engine that the company believes will one day be able to facilitate the shuttling of equipment and sensor payloads on quick turn-around suborbital missions for the military and to help dramatically reduce the cost of geo-spatial imagery.

"These successful tests mean that we are one step closer to realizing the core vision of affordable access to space from a platform that is both mobile and reusable," said Pat Bahn, CEO of TGV Rockets. "When we started the firm, our interest was very broadly focused, but as we developed the ideas, we realized we could replace a multi-billion dollar imaging satellite with a $10 million-class rocketship."

"We are very proud of our engineering team for their efforts and persistence over many years in helping us reach this important milestone," Bahn said. "Our ultimate goal is a transportable spacecraft that can be launched and landed in remote locations to provide quick-look low-cost imagery for both military and commercial applications."

Bahn said that the Phase I testing, which was conducted over the past two months at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, focused on basic ignition and verification issues for a new 30,000-lb.-class throttleable long-life rocket engine using JP-8 fuel, which is the military version of commercial jet fuel.

TGV tells ANN the tests demonstrated consistent ignition at power levels of less than 20 percent and stable combustion throughout the operating range. Phase II testing, currently underway, is focused on gaining more detailed information on the performance of the JP-8 fuel in the engine configuration. The work is part of a larger space vehicle development program funded through the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC.

Company representatives state the significance of the tests lies in the demonstrated feasibility of the kind of throttleable engine technology that is critical to what the military describes as Operationally Responsive Space Launch -- the ability to reach space on short notice in an affordable and reusable way to respond to real-time events and needs.

TGV notes its work in kerosene engines has placed it in a league with such major aerospace organizations as Aerojet, Rocketdyne, SpaceX and TRW-Northrop Grumman.

TGV Rockets was founded by Bahn in Maryland in 1997, and has its main offices in Norman, OK.



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