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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

A Modular Minimum Cost Launch System for Nano-Satellites

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

A Modular Minimum Cost Launch System for Nano-Satellites
As minimum cost will be required for a dedicated Nano-Sat Launch Vehicle, a parallel staged, highly modular vehicle architecture is proposed for development. The principal advantage of a modular architecture for this size of vehicle is the single propulsion development for the boost stages at a relatively small scale. This approach drastically shortens development timelines and cost. A candidate launch vehicle with a cluster of seven identical modules would light 4 modules for the first stage, 2 for the second, 1 for the third, and fire 1 small spinning Apogee Kick Motor (AKM) for the fourth. Whittinghill Aerospace (WASP) proposes to refine the Phase 1 design of an all-composite, N2O-fed Hybrid Rocket Motor (HRM) propelled, 25 kg to LEO launcher. WASP will then build and fire the AKM, build and fire the core module HRM, then launch the full-scale core module as an unguided sounding rocket from a commercial range. At the conclusion of Phase 2, the technology will be at a TRL level of 6. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

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