Ursa Major, a space propulsion startup known for its hypersonic tech and rocket engines, has announced its entry into the solid rocket motor game. The company has been exploring the solid rocket motor space for about two years now and received a demand signal from the Department of Defense (DoD) in summer 2021.
The need for more solid rocket motors (SRMs) was identified by Ursa Major as an area where it could contribute to the broader industrial base. The company saw the potential to equip allies and maintain a large enough US stockpile to deter adversaries, such as China.
To address this need, Ursa Major is taking a different approach by building SRMs quickly in a factory that can be easily reconfigured to work on different types of motors. The manufacturing process being used by the company is called Lynx, which utilizes additive manufacturing to speed up production. With Lynx, Ursa Major expects to produce 1,650 motors per year with a single 3D printer for some smaller SRMs. This will significantly reduce production time compared to traditional methods.
Additive manufacturing also boosts flexibility as it allows multiple platforms like Stinger, Javelin, and man-portable air-defense systems to be built on a single machine in quick succession. This makes it easier for Ursa Major to adapt to changing requirements quickly and efficiently.
Despite its entry into the solid rocket motor game, Ursa Major remains committed to space and hypersonics. Laurienti stated that the lessons learned from both the rigorous qualifications process and streamlined production line required for building SRMs could help the company’s space pursuits. In conclusion, Ursa Major’s decision to enter into the solid rocket motor game is an exciting development that could have significant implications for both military capabilities and space exploration efforts.