Ursa Major to Provide Upper Stage Rocket Engines for Astra's Rocket 4
Ursa Major, America's leading privately funded company that focuses solely on rocket propulsion, announced an agreement with Astra that will support next-generation communications, national security and defense, and Earth observation.
Under the agreement, Ursa Major will provide "Hadley" engines for the upper stage of Astra's Launch System 2 on its newly architected, higher-capacity Rocket 4 launch vehicle. Launch System 2 is designed for customers that need affordable, frequent, and reliable orbital launch, deploying spacecraft directly into operational orbits.
"The Ursa Major-Astra partnership marks an important industry milestone in outsourcing propulsion to unlock growth and innovation for launch providers and their customers," said Joe Laurienti, founder and CEO of Ursa Major. "We're excited to be a part of Astra's Launch System 2 and the company's next chapter of success."
Launch System 2's upper stage will use the vacuum variant of Hadley, an oxygen-rich staged combustion (ORSC) engine fueled by liquid kerosene. The vacuum variant of Hadley provides 6,500 pounds of thrust, compared to Hadley's sea-level configuration, which provides 5,000 pounds of thrust. To enable longer missions, Hadley features an ignition system capable of multiple restarts.
Reliable rocket propulsion is critical to maintaining the space supply chain and growing the space industry. Ursa Major focuses solely on propulsion to lower the cost and risks of the most expensive, time-consuming, and risky aspect of space launch. Ursa Major's flexible rocket engines can be used for various missions, from air launch to hypersonic flight and on-orbit missions.