HYBRID SOLID ROCKET MOTOR HAS SUCCESSFUL TEST FIRING- Aviation Week (July 2012)
The Space Propulsion Group Inc. carried out a successful 11-sec. test firing of a developmental, 22-in. flight-class hybrid solid rocket motor fueled by paraffin and liquid oxygen on June 29 at its Butte, Mont., Aerotech test facility.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, which was formed 13 years ago to develop low-cost, lightweight, environmentally friendly sources of space propulsion and power generation, carried out what was the fifth and longest in a series of test firings. The effort started in 2005 to develop hybrid propulsion scaling tools for the U.S. Air Force Research Lab at Edwards AFB, Calif
SPACE PROPULSION GROUP'S NEW MOTOR ROARS TO LIFE- AmericaSpace (July 2012)
Last Friday June 29, the California-based Space Propulsion Group tested a new motor that promises to be a game changer. It’s for a hybrid propulsion system – half liquid fuel and half solid fuel – that’s safer, more environmentally benign, and more economically viable than other rocket propellants. It’s an alternative the motor’s builders think could significantly reduce the price of space accessibility.
Developing the technologies to reduce cost, lower environmental impact, and increase safety of propulsion and power generation systems has been SPG’s mission since its inception in 1999. Their method is to replace toxic and expensive materials with safer and abundant green alternatives.
ALTERNATIVE FUEL ROCKET ROARS TO LIFE IN TEST- Space.com (June 2012)
A new hybrid rocket motor fired up Friday (June 29), demonstrating technology that its builders say could lead to efficient, alternative-fuel launch vehicles down the road.
California-based Space Propulsion Group, Inc. (SPG) test-fired the 22-inch-wide (56-centimeter) liquid oxygen/paraffin motor for about 20 seconds Friday, blasting a streak of bright flame into the air at the company's testing facility in Butte, Mont.
The trial was the fifth for this particular motor, SPG officials said, and it demonstrated a flight-weight version of the design.
COMPANY FIRES UP JET ENGINE TO TEST ALTERNATIVE FUEL NEAR BUTTE- NBC Montana (June 2012)
BUTTE, Mont. - Arif Karabeyoglu is the president of the Space Propulsion Group (SPG), and on Thursday he gave a tour of their facilities outside of Butte.
"We do have ammonia in this tank" he said, explaining a white tank outside of a testing building.
The company designs hybrid rocket engines, and studies alternative fuels.
"This is the first time people are seeing the ammonia testing" Karabeyoglu said, about the specific test they were going to demonstrate.
FUELED FOR SUCCESS - ROCKET TEST RUNS LONGEST YET; EXPANSION PLANNED- AIAA Aerospace America (June 2012)
ONE SPRING DAY BACK IN 1990, President George H.W. Bush’s domestic and economic policy staff received an urgent call from NASA’s legislative affairs office. They needed the White House to send a signal to House and Senate negotiators that a major clean air bill should exempt NASA and other agency rocket launchers from regulation. The White House staff, working with Congress, agreed to shield rocket launches from the bill’s restrictions, recognizing that while rockets do pollute the atmosphere, their impact is minimal compared to sources such as automobiles and power plants.
NEW BUILDING TO ALLOW TESTING OF LARGER ROCKETS- Montana Standard (December 2009)
Butte-Silver Bow County will erect a permanent building in its TIFID for the testing of rocket engines.
Kristen Rosa, administrator of the Tax Increment Finance Industrial District, said that the steel-sided structure could be in operation by next spring. "It will help them be able to test bigger and bigger rocket engines," Rosa said.
COMPANY TESTS ROCKET SYSTEMS IN BUTTE- Montana Standard (May 2009)
Space Propulsion Group Inc. is back in Butte for the second time in three months to test 11-inch hybrid rockets. The group tested twice Thursday, twice Friday and has plans for two eight-second blasts Saturday at the AeroTec facility, located about 10 miles west of Butte. Arif Karabeyoglu, president and chief technical officer of SPG, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., said the tests in Butte have proven valuable to his company and have shown SPG's technology is "efficient and stable," the two words Karabeyoglu most wants to hear.
BUTTE ROCKET FACILITY GETS $20K GRANT- Montana Standard (April 2009)
The Montana Department of Commerce has awarded a $20,000 grant to Butte-Silver Bow for engineering costs and feasibility assessments for more rocket testing at the Butte AeroTec facility.
The Montana Aerospace Development Association runs the facility, west of Butte, where advanced hybrid rocket technology and other aerospace science are tested in the industrial park.
ROCKETS TESTED IN BUTTE- Montana Standard (March 2009)
A company tested four hybrid-fuel propulsion rockets in Butte recently in the first experiment at the Butte AeroTec facility. Space Propulsion Group, an offshoot of Stanford University, conducted the approximately eight-second tests March 6-8, according to company president Arif Karabeyoglu.
IDEAL HYBRID FUEL IS . . . WAX?- Stanford Aviation Week (February 2008)
A graduate student at Stanford University has found what promises to be a better hybrid rocket fuel than the usual rubberized polymers like hydroxyl-terminatedpolybutadiene (HTPB). The new fuel is a broad class of paraffins, imprecisely known as wax, and may make the hybrid rocket a more viable contender.
Wax’s main virtue is that it burns three times faster, producing more thrust for the same surface area. Hybrids have advantages over conventional solid and liquid rockets of safety, low cost, throttleability, and simplicity, but with fuels like HTPB the burn rate is so slow that it must be laced with holes for more surface area, making it prone to internal breakup
CANDLESTICK ROCKET SHIP- NASA.gov (January 2003)
Waiting inside his Mercury capsule for the command that would start the countdown and make him the first American in space, Alan Shepard yelled impatiently, "Let's light this candle!". Those words may turn out to be more prophetic than Shepard intended. Since 2001, NASA's Ames Research Center has been testing a new rocket fuel made from--believe it or not--candle wax
NASA TESTS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY ROCKET FUEL- Science Daily(January 2003)
NASA has successfully tested an alternative rocket fuel that may increase operational safety and reduce costs over current solid fuels. The new paraffin-based fuel could eventually be used in Space Shuttle booster rockets.
Two years of collaboration between Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., and NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., have led to the development of a non-toxic, easily handled fuel made from a substance similar to what is used in common candles. The by-products of combustion of the new fuel are carbon dioxide and water; unlike conventional rocket fuel that produces aluminum oxide and acidic gasses, such as hydrogen chloride.