Encyclopedia Astronautica

American sounding rocket. Hybrid single stage rocket intended to replace multiple-stage sounding rockets.

In 1999 Lockheed Martin signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, to develop, test and launch the hybrid sounding rocket. The program goal was to develop a single-stage hybrid propulsion system capable of replacing existing two- and three-stage sounding rockets. Hybrid propulsion offered significant advantages over solid fuel propellants in that hybrids were non-explosive, could be throttled, abd were low cost and environmentally benign. Lockheed Martin's Michoud Operations designed and built the 18 meter long rocket to demonstrate that hybrid propulsion technology offered a low cost solution for delivering payloads. The 0.6 meter diameter rocket used liquid oxygen and solid fuel to provide a thrust of 27,000 kgf and achieved an altitude of 70 kilometers.

Development ground testing (hardware qualification) occurred at NASA Stennis Space Center between 2000 and 2001. This testing concluded with a successful demonstration flight of a prototype sounding rocket from NASA WFF in December 2002. The flight demonstration vehicle was a 17.4-meter long sounding rocket using liquid oxygen and solid fuel, a rubberized compound known as hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene (HTPB). The rocket generated 267 kN of thrust during a burn time of 31 seconds, and reached an altitude of approximately 69 km.

In 2004, there was further testing of the HYSR motors at NASA Stennis Space Center. The tests demonstrated the structural integrity of Lockheed Martin-Michoud's fuel-grain design and were facilitating development of advanced state-of-the-art hybrid rocket motors.

Success Rate: 100.00%. Launch data is: complete.

Status: Retired 2002.
Height: 6.00 m (19.60 ft).
Diameter: 0.20 m (0.65 ft).
Thrust: 264.00 kN (59,349 lbf).
Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).
First Launch: 2002.12.18.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Lockheed American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, CA, USA. More...

  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Wallops Island Small NASA launch site for sounding rocket launches and occasional Scout launches to orbit. Air launches are conducted from the Drop Zone Wallops Island, 37.00 N 72.0 W. With the last orbital launch in 1985 and the decline in sounding rocket launches, Wallops fell into near-disuse as a launch center. Its fortunes revised with the establishment of Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in 2005 and orbital launches resumed in 2010. More...

Associated Stages
  • HYSR-1 Lox/Solid propellant rocket stage. Thrust 270.00 kN. More...

HYSR Chronology

2002 December 18 - . 11:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: HYSR.
  • SOAREX-2 Technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi). First test flight of a large hybrid propulsion system. The Suborbital Aerodynamic Reentry Experiment payload, a joint project between Ames and Wallops, included a 'wave rider' flying wedge, a linear aerobrake (or hypersonic parachute), and a Slotted Compression Ramp Probe (SCRAMP), a super stable planetary reentry probe. The wedge was 127 centimeters long and was to free fly like a glider after deployment.

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