The Aquila Cargo Transport
Version One
March 27, 2005
Industrial Launch Vehicle / Aquila / American Rocket [Amroc]
 

From: Global Security Org

Chartering American Rocket [Amroc] in March, 1985, George Koopman and his colleagues researched and developed the first working hybrid rockets ever to be tested in the United States. That they managed to do this for only about $10 million over 4 years was a sterling example of how efficient free enterprise can be when allowed to work unfettered. It was also a tribute to George Koopman's driving spirit and to his desire to work for the attainment of his dreams. George Koopman wanted Amroc to be the Federal Express of space.

George Koopman, one of the cofounders of the American Rocket Co., and the president and chief executive officer of Amroc since its creation, died July 19, 1989, of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He was 44. Mr. Koopman was an example of one of those people who have literally built America - the entrepreneur. It was Mr. Koopman's dream, and the dream of his fellow American Rocket Co. cofounders and financial backers, to found a company that would create affordable access to space.

AMROC officials affirmed that preparations for the company's first space launch, scheduled for August 14, 1989, would continue as planned. The sounding rocket SET-1 (Single Engine Test Flight #1), thrust 324,000N, was launched on October 5th 1989.

An extensive knowledge base was produced by American Rocket Company over its eight year history. The technical rights, proprietary data and patents produced by AMROC were the result of over $20 million worth of hybrid rocket motor research. AMROC designed and hot test fired a wide variety of hybrid rocket motors of all sizes, utilizing non-toxic storable propellants. AMROC completed approximately 300 hybrid motor tests from 100 to 250,000 pounds of thrust.

In August 1998 SpaceDev, the world's first commercial space exploration company, acquired exclusive rights to intellectual property including the three patents originally issued to American Rocket Company (Amroc) for their hybrid rocket motor technology. In addition, SpaceDev acquired exclusive possession of and access to a large quantity of Amroc engineering documents, plans, designs, test results, manufacturing data, and other materials related to the rocket motors and Amroc launch vehicles. 

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The American Rocket Company's (AMROC)
Commercial Aquila Launch Vehicle

FLITTIE, KIRK J.MCFARLANE, SCOTT (American Rocket Co., Camarillo, CA)
AIAA-1991-2046,  1991, PV1991_2046.pdf  ($25.00 fee for the whole document Page 01 free)
SAE, ASME, and ASEE, Joint Propulsion Conference, 27th, Sacramento, CA, June 24-26, 1991. 13 p. 

Aquila Launch Vehicle is a ground launched, four stage, all hybrid propulsion, inertially guided commercial space booster designed to deliver 2,000 pound payloads into low Earth orbit. By using AMROC's low cost hybrid propulsion, the Aquila launch service will provide quick, on demand, routine access to space; high accuracy orbital placement; and an unprecedented degree of production, ground and flight safety. The first launch of the Aquila will be in early 1995. Aquila utilizes AMROC's unique hybrid propulsion systems consisting of an inert solid poly butadiene fuel and either liquid oxygen or nitrous oxide as oxidizer. A hybrid propulsion system is distinct from all other rocket propulsion systems in that hybrids cannot explode; hybrids offer safe handling, operation and launch pad abort; and hybrids offer start/stop and full throttling capability for trajectory optimization and precise payload placement on orbit. In addition, the exhaust products do not contain hydrogen chlorides which are environmentally degrading. This paper will discuss the key features and design of the Aquila Launch Vehicle

The opportunity for hybrid rocket motors in commercial space 

ESTEY, PAUL N.HUGHES, BRIAN G. R. (American Rocket Co., Camarillo, CA)
AIAA-1992-3431, 1992,  PV1992_3431.pdf ($25.00 fee for the whole document Page 01 free)
SAE, ASME, and ASEE, Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 28th, Nashville, TN, July 6-8, 1992. 10 p. 

Hybrid rocket motors which utilize a liquid oxidizer and a solid fuel offer the potential of significantly
reducing the cost of propulsion systems for space launch vehicles. Hybrid propulsion systems have a high energy efficiency, a robust combustion process and because of the separation of the propellants both physically
and by phase, hybrids cannot explode. It is this fundamental safety feature that enables the hybrid
system to be fabricated and operated at costs below those of competitive solid and liquid systems. Due to
the safety and low cost nature of hybrids, they are very attractive to commercial operators who must be responsive to schedule and cost. The basics of the hybrid propulsion system and its operation are discussed along with a brief history and status of hybrid motor development. Potential applications of the hybrid rocket motor or commercial space launch vehicles are presented.

Amroc, previously known as Starstruck, has had great difficulty in developing its own rocket. Dornheim, Amroc Retains Key Personnel Despite Cutbacks After Pad Fire, AVIATION WK. & SPACE TECH., Oct. 30, 1989, at 20. However, Amroc is continuing to develop its new Aquila booster. Marketing efforts are under way and Amroc anticipates testing Aquila within the next few years, with commercial launches to follow shortly. Telephone interview with James Bennett, President of the American Rocket Company (Apr. 15, 1991).

Source Law.Berkley.Edu - Regulating International Trade in Launch Services

Aquila Industrial Launch Vehicle

Family: Miscellany
Country: USA
Status: Development 1988. 
Other Designations: Aquila
Bibliography: * 248 - Interplanetary Spacecraft

LEO Payload: 1,818 kg. to: 217 km Orbit. Liftoff Thrust: 1,135,630 kg. Total Mass: 591,180 kg. Core Diameter: 1.8 m. Total Length: 70.0 m. Launch Price $: 8.00 million. in 1987 price dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 19.00 million. in 1985 unit dollars.

    * Stage Number: 0. 12 x AMROC Gross Mass: 31,000 kg. Empty Mass: 5,900 kg. Thrust (vac): 94,970 kgf. Isp: 284 sec. Burn time: 75 sec. Isp(sl): 283 sec. Diameter: 1.8 m. Span: 1.8 m. Length: 19.5 m. Propellants: Lox/Solid No Engines: 1. H1500

    * Stage Number: 1. 4 x AMROC Gross Mass: 31,000 kg. Empty Mass: 5,900 kg. Thrust (vac): 94,970 kgf. Isp: 284 sec. Burn time: 75 sec. Isp(sl): 283 sec. Diameter: 1.8 m. Span: 1.8 m. Length: 19.5 m. Propellants: Lox/Solid No Engines: 1. H1500

    * Stage Number: 2. 2 x AMROC Gross Mass: 31,000 kg. Empty Mass: 5,900 kg. Thrust (vac): 94,970 kgf. Isp: 284 sec. Burn time: 75 sec. Isp(sl): 283 sec. Diameter: 1.8 m. Span: 1.8 m. Length: 19.5 m. Propellants: Lox/Solid No Engines: 1. H1500

    * Stage Number: 3. 1 x AMROC Gross Mass: 31,000 kg. Empty Mass: 5,900 kg. Thrust (vac): 94,970 kgf. Isp: 284 sec. Burn time: 75 sec. Isp(sl): 283 sec. Diameter: 1.8 m. Span: 1.8 m. Length: 19.5 m. Propellants: Lox/Solid No Engines: 1. H1500

DATA FROM ASTRONAUTIX

Other Projects Designated Aquila

Drone. Year: 1975
Country: USA. Department of Defense Designation: MQM-105A
Popular Name: Aquila.
Lockheed MQM-105 Aquila - Historical Essay © Andreas Parsch
 

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