Encyclopedia Astronautica
MTV Motor

SpaceDev N2O/Solid hybrid rocket engine. Upper stages. Small hybrid rocket motor designed for use in the Maneuver and Transfer Vehicle, an upper stage orbital transfer motor. Tested 2001.

In 1998, SpaceDev, Inc., of Poway, California, acquired exclusive rights to the intellectual property of the American Rocket Company, which had developed hybrid rocket motor systems in the 1980s. SpaceDev was currently developing a series of small hybrid motors, using HTPB rubber or polymethyl methacrylate (Plexiglas) as solid fuel and storable nitrous oxide as a gaseous oxidizer. SpaceDev completed tests in August 2001 of a small hybrid rocket motor that was designed for use in the company's Maneuver and Transfer Vehicle, an upper stage that can move small spacecraft, such as secondary payloads on larger launch vehicles, from GTO, LEO or GEO. In May 2002, the AFRL awarded SpaceDev a contract to develop a hybrid propulsion module to deploy small payloads from the Space Shuttle.

Application: Upper stages.


Propellant Formulation: N2O/HTPB.

Status: Out of production.
First Launch: 2001-2004.

More... - Chronology...

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Associated Propellants
  • N2O/Solid Liquid nitrous oxide (N2O / dinitrogen monoxide / 'laughing gas') is the oxidiser of choice for hybrid rocket motors because it is benign, storable, and self-pressurising to 48 atmospheres at 17 deg C. Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. More...

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