Rocket motor facility completed in New Mexico


A state-of-the-art solid rocket motor development and manufacturing facility, the Space Propulsion Center (SPC), has been completed at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

The project was a collaboration between UP Aerospace Inc. and Cesaroni Aerospace. It was completed in under a year and culminated in three full-scale SpaceLoft solid rocket motor static test firings. These were to verify high-performance motor casing and insulation manufacturing techniques, and validate the automated, remotely controlled propellant mix and cast processing facilities.

Three motors were test fired within three weeks using the facility’s 30,000-lb test stand. Two of the motors were a high-performance SpaceLoft motor that demonstrated an increased propellant loading, and the third test was a standard SpaceLoft motor which qualified its use on all sub-orbital flights scheduled for NASA missions in 2018 and beyond.

The new capability was created in part to support propulsion development of the UP Aerospace Spyder orbital launch vehicle.

Jerry Larson, president of UP Aerospace, commented, “This new facility adds to our existing 12 years of launch operations at Spaceport America, the ability to produce propulsion systems for the SpaceLoft on-site, and develop new propulsion systems for our orbital Spyder vehicle. Having a motor production and test facility on-site with our launch complex will reduce cost and schedule for future missions flown from Spaceport America.”

Cesaroni Aerospace has supplied solid rocket motors for UP Aerospace’s SpaceLoft sounding rocket program since 2005. The project has launched a total of 10 microgravity flights from Spaceport America to altitudes exceeding 400,000ft. Over this period, Cesaroni and UP Aerospace have collaborated on many launch and propulsion projects.

Source: UP Aerospace

October 26, 2017

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