Space Image

Ursa Major Engine To Be Used On Astra Rocket 4

Ursa Major CEO, Joe Laurienti, says that the partnership with Astra “marks an important industry milestone in outsourcing propulsion to unlock growth and innovation for launch providers”

  • More details coming soon...
Jay Keegan

Jay Keegan

Tue Apr 25 2023Written by Jay Keegan

Ursa Major, a leading privately-funded rocket propulsion company in the US, has signed a deal with Astra to support the companies next generation launch vehicle. The agreement will see Ursa Major provide "Hadley" engines for the upper stage of Astra's Launch System 2 on its newly architected Rocket 4 launch vehicle.

Launch System 2 is designed to provide affordable, frequent, and reliable orbital launches, deploying spacecraft directly into operational orbits. Under the partnership, Astra will be able to take advantage of Ursa Major's vacuum engine for the second stage of Rocket 4.

The vacuum variant of Hadley, an oxygen-rich staged combustion (ORSC) engine fueled by liquid kerosene, will power Launch System 2's upper stage. The vacuum variant provides 6,500 pounds of thrust, compared to the sea-level configuration that provides 5,000 pounds of thrust. Hadley features an ignition system that can restart multiple times to enable longer missions.

According to Joe Laurienti, founder and CEO of Ursa Major, the partnership with Astra marks an essential industry milestone in outsourcing propulsion to unlock growth and innovation for launch providers and their customers. He added that Ursa Major is thrilled to be part of Astra's Launch System 2 and the company's next chapter of success.

Astra's rocket 4 is said to be a major step up in terms of reliability and scalability for Astra, with the company recognising that you can's scale without reliability and you need reliability to scale. The system is currently expected to take flight next year, and has secured multiple customers including the US Space Force.