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Aerojet Rocketdyne Completes Final Hot-Fire Test for LEONIDAS SmallSat Launcher Engine

By Caleb Henry | August 18, 2014
      LEO-46 engine hot-fire

      The LEO-46 hot fire test. Photo: Aerojet Rocketdyne

      [Via Satellite 08-18-2014] Aerojet Rocketdyne has conducted the third and final hot-fire test for the Low Earth Orbiting Nanosatellite Integrated Defense Autonomous System (LEONIDAS) at the Air Force Research Laboratory located at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The test fired up the first stage solid propellant rocket motor (LEO-46) for 73 seconds, generating close to 300,000lbf of thrust.

      Aerojet Rocketdyne is the sole source supplier of the LEONIDAS three-stage propulsion system for a SmallSat launch vehicle dubbed Super Strypi, currently under development by Sandia National Lab. The company conducted the second stage LEO-7 motor test in August 2012, and the LEO-1 third stage motor test in September 2013.

      The Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) office, collaborating with Sandia National Lab, the University of Hawaii/Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory, the Pacific Missile Range Facility and Aerojet Rocketdyne, plan to conduct a first launch this year at Kauai, Hawaii. The ORS-4 launch mission will represent the largest propulsion system ever launched from a rail system. Aerojet Rocketdyne intends to complete the final build-up of a flight motor in advance of the mission.