Encyclopedia Astronautica
Sea Horse

Sea Horse 2
Credit: Truax Engineering
American sea-launched test vehicle. The second phase of Sea Launch was to demonstrate the concept on a larger scale, with a rocket with a complex set of guidance and control systems. Sea Horse used one of 39 surplus Corporal missiles that Truax obtained from the Army and successfully demonstrated ignition in the ocean of a rocket stage.

Tests of the 9,000 kgf pressure fed, acid/aniline rocket were made from a barge in San Francisco Bay at Tiburon. The engine was first fired several meters above the water, then lowered and fired in successive steps until reaching a considerable depth. Firing from underwater posed no problems, and there was substantial noise attenuation. In actual operation, it was planned to tow the missile to its launch site, flood attached compartments so that the missile rode vertically in the water, and then fire it. In order to support such a program, tentative agreements were made with the Navy for Aerojet to take over an unused facility at Tiburon. All of this was done on a modest amount of IR&D funding.

Years later Truax Engineering proposed a different Sea Horse - an 'entry level' two-stage orbital launch vehicle that used the Sea Dragon principles - pressure-fed engines, stage recovery, amphibious launch.

LEO Payload: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) to a 185 km orbit. Launch Price $: 20.000 million in 1991 dollars.

Stage Data - Sea Horse

  • Stage 1. 1 x Sea Horse-1. Gross Mass: 40,000 kg (88,000 lb). Empty Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 755.000 kN (169,730 lbf). Isp: 285 sec. Burn time: 128 sec. Isp(sl): 250 sec. Diameter: 3.00 m (9.80 ft). Span: 3.00 m (9.80 ft). Length: 15.85 m (52.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: MB-3 Press Mod. Status: Development 1962.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Sea Horse-2. Gross Mass: 15,000 kg (33,000 lb). Empty Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Thrust (vac): 147.000 kN (33,046 lbf). Isp: 425 sec. Burn time: 363 sec. Isp(sl): 306 sec. Diameter: 3.00 m (9.80 ft). Span: 3.00 m (9.80 ft). Length: 10.00 m (32.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 1. Engine: Truax LH2. Status: Development 1962.

AKA: Truax Volksrocket..
Status: Retired 1962.
Gross mass: 55,000 kg (121,000 lb).
Payload: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).
Height: 31.00 m (101.00 ft).
Diameter: 3.00 m (9.80 ft).
Thrust: 662.30 kN (148,891 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • MB-3 Press Mod Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 755.1 kN. Test 1962. Isp=285s. Used on Sea Horse launch vehicle. More...
  • Truax LH2 Aerojet lox/lh2 rocket engine. 147.1 kN. Test 1962. Used in Sea Horse-2. Isp=425s. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Truax American manufacturer of rockets. Truax, USA. More...

Associated Stages
  • Sea Horse-1 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 40,000/5,000 kg. Thrust 755.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 285 seconds. More...
  • Sea Horse-2 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 15,000/2,000 kg. Thrust 147.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 425 seconds. More...

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