North Star rocket family with hybrid propulsion

January 27, 2013 10:13 pm Eastern | by Clark Lindsey, Managing Editor

Theo Pirard of the Space Information Center/Belgium  points me to the news that the company Nammo and the Andøya Rocket Range are developing a rocket system called North Star that will use a standardized hybrid motor, clustered in different numbers and arrangements, to build two types of sounding rockets and an orbital launcher (10kg nanosat to polar orbit) :

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Comments (4)

Ben Brockert
OTRAG will never die and OTRAG will never make orbit.
28th January 2013 11:12am
Clark S. Lindsey
I also was thinking of this as the Otrag approach. Why do you say Otrag designs won't reach orbit? I know Otrag is not ideal in terms of maximizing payload mass, but I don't see in principle why they cannot get to orbit.
29th January 2013 8:35am
Ben Brockert
In principle it can get to orbit, but in reality having a first stage and a third stage with identical attention toward mass ratio really hurts performance. Either you're spending too much money to make a high performance first stage, or you're spending too little on the third. It seems like a nice idea, "we'll just crank out a bunch of identical parts". But when you realize that the payload would be twice as big if you didn't use an identical third stage, it becomes much less attractive. Read More
31st January 2013 2:39pm
Clark S. Lindsey
Thanks Ben, that makes sense. Sounds like it might be OK to use clustering of one type of tube rocket for different versions of the first stage and another type of tube rocket for versions of the upper stage.
31st January 2013 7:40pm
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