Encyclopedia Astronautica
SpaceDev Hybrid

SpaceDev N2O/Solid hybrid rocket engine. 73.5 kN. Rocketplane boost. Out of production. Isp=250s. Used on Tier One launch vehicle. First flight 2002.

Hybrid motor selected for SpaceFlightOne after competitive testing with an eEc design. In September 2003, Scaled Composites announced that it had selected SpaceDev for propulsion support for its SpaceShipOne project. In a series of flights in late 2004, SpaceDev's hybrid rocket motor powered SpaceShipOne to suborbital space twice in two weeks, thus propelling it to win the Ansari X Prize. Nitrous oxide oxidiser, proprietary HTPB solid fuel. SpaceDev built the casing, but the 25:1 expansion nozzle was fabricated by AEA. All data is estimated; actual figures are considered proprietary.

Application: Rocketplane boost.


Chamber Pressure: 24.00 bar. Propellant Formulation: N2O/HTPB. Restarts: 4.

Status: Out of production.
Gross mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 300 kg (660 lb).
Thrust: 73.50 kN (16,523 lbf).
Specific impulse: 250 s.
Burn time: 90 s.
First Launch: 2001-2004.
Number: 56 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • SpaceShipOne American manned spaceplane. 14 launches, 2003.05.20 to 2004.05.13 . X-Prize suborbital spaceplane concept of Scaled Composites, Mojave, California. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Tier One American winged rocketplane. Burt Rutan's Tier One was the second manned reusable suborbital launch system (after the B-52/X-15). But it was developed privately at a small fraction of the cost. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
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...

Associated Stages
  • SpaceShipOne N2O/Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 3,600/1,200 kg. Thrust 73.50 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 250 seconds. Wing area 15 sq m. More...

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