Other viable near-term applications for ceramic composites include expendable chemical rocket thrusters for orbital insertion, attitude control system and/or divert thrust chamber components for commercial and military communication spacecraft and/or various ballistic missile defense KE intercept weapons. Hyper-Therm HTC has been providing ceramic composite thrusters and related hardware to Aeojet, Rocketdyne and NASA for over 15 years. Opportunities for retrofit application in turbine engine augmentors (e.g., converging/diverging exhaust nozzle flaps and seals) for military aero-propulsion systems also exist. The development of advanced ceramic composite materials and components with enhanced thermal-structural performance over those currently available could directly support future enabling technologies for hypersonic propulsion and hot structures. Applications for ceramic composites in advanced airbreathing combined-cycle propulsion systems and control surfaces for reusable hypervelocity and exo/transatmospheric aerospace vehicles are directly addressed by this technology. These potential applications are critically dependent on the development of advanced materials capable of high-performance load-bearing operation up to and beyond 1500o
F). Successful demonstration of the life at temperature of the CMC concept could result in a valuable near term increase in airframe performance and reliability for a variety of hot structures and thermal protection systems critical to both DoD and NASA high-speed aircraft and re-entry vehicles.