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Phantom Space Orders Hundreds of Rocket Engines From Ursa Major

By | May 5, 2022

Phantom Space’s Daytona Rocket (image by Phantom Space)

Phantom Space Corp. on Wednesday said it has ordered more than 200 rocket engines from Ursa Major for its two low-cost launch vehicles with plans to launch the Daytona rocket in 2023, a milestone the company highlighted will add options for access to space at a time when existing launch providers are at capacity.

The contract is the largest for Ursa Major, which will sell hundreds of its 5,000-pound thrust Hadley engines and a number of its 50,000-pound thrust Ripley engines to Phantom. Ursa Major has several space launch customers but Phantom is the only one it is able to disclose.

The value of the contract with Ursa Major wasn’t disclosed. Phantom is just two-years old and plans to serve commercial and government customers, including NASA with space launch services. The company recently was named eligible for contracts under NASA’s Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) missions.

“Phantom’s strategy leverages a mature U.S.-only supply chain to deliver the lowest cost U.S.-built small satellite launch vehicle on the market,” Jim Cantrell, Phantom’s CEO, said in a statement. “Ursa Major is a core component of this strategy with flight-ready, reliable, high-performance engines that are configurable for not only our workhorse Daytona and Laguna launch vehicles but also a family of enhanced future launch configurations.”

Phantom, which is based in Tucson, Arizona and led by founding SpaceX member Jim Cantrell, will begin integrated hot-fire testing of the Daytona rocket in June with first launch expected in 2023. The company has received its first Hadley engines.

Phantom on its website says Daytona can lift 450 kilograms of payload to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) for $4 million a launch. The Laguna rocket, which is larger, is set to launch in 2025 and is advertised at being able to carry 1,200-kilograms of payload to LEO for $8 million per launch.

The first Daytona variant will used nine Hadley engines for its first stage and one Hadley for the upper stage. In 2024, an upgraded version of Daytona will feature a Ripley engine for the first state and a Hadley engine for the upper state.

The Laguna will be powered by a combination of Ripley and Hadley engines.

Ursa Major is based in Berthoud, Colorado. The company’s engines have gone through more than 35,000 seconds of run time, which it says it more than usual before first flight.

Ursa Major has also provided the Hadley engine to Stratolaunch, which provides aircraft for hypersonic flight-testing.

This story was first published by Via Satellite sister outlet Defense Daily.