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Eric Schmidt

Exquadrum Completes Successful Hypergolics Test Program: Exquadrum establishes new testing capability for hypergolic rocket engine testing

VICTORVILLE, CA 26 August 2022 – Exquadrum successfully completed the build-up, check-out, and operational testing of a new hypergolic engine test pad at its FORGE test site in Victorville, CA. This new test pad and capability comes as an answer to the ever-increasing need in the United States for agile and cost-effective test sites for rocket engine testing using hypergolic propellants. This new test capability was developed for engine thrust classes up to 1,000 lbf and for a range of hypergolics (nitrogen tetroxide (NTO), monomethylhydrazine (MMH), and their variants). The completion of the test campaign signals that Exquadrum’s newly commissioned test pad and testing capability are ready for future test campaigns.

Exquadrum has been developing and expanding its FORGE test site for five years through strategic internal investment and customer funded requirements. The nine-acre test site is located at the Southern California Logistics Airport and currently consists of three test pads, sited for component level testing for liquid rocket engines and solid rocket motors, stage testing up to 20,000 lbf, and now hypergolics testing. The new hypergolic test capability came after a year of planning, permitting, and construction. In order to meet the demanding requirements associated with hypergolic testing in the state of California, Exquadrum’s new test pad is fully permitted for storage and testing through the California Accidental Release Program (CalARP) and all the regulatory agencies at the state, county, and local levels. The FORGE test site is expected to grow to 30 acres in the next two years as new requirements evolve and Exquadrum continues to invest in expansion.

“Over the past three years we have been hearing from many organizations and companies for the domestic capability of testing hypergolic rocket engines,” said Eric Schmidt, President of Exquadrum and chief engineer of its new hypergolic facility. “With the collaboration of a key in-space propulsion industry leader, we were able to stand-up this new and exciting capability. We are now in the process of constructing a new vacuum test cell to fully expand the range of our testing capabilities.”

Exquadrum has already found success in attracting additional test programs slated for 2023 and 2024 for a spectrum of satellite, upper stage, and interplanetary missions. With the completion of the new vacuum capability in 2023, Exquadrum will be the only private company in the United States with this range of rocket testing capabilities. Future expansions of its FORGE test site will provide for additional capabilities into 2023 and 2024.