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North Star – The Flexible, Green and Safe Sounding Rocket and Satellite Launch Service

Click to download North Star PDF

Nammo and Andøya Rocket Range (ARR) are working together to develop a new series of scientific rockets. The North Star family will consist of 3 configurations, North Star 1, North Star 2 and the North Star Launch Vehicle, all using hybrid propulsion technology. Hybrid rocket motors have several advantages compared to solid fuel motors. A hybrid motor does not contain explosives, which means it is easier to transport. Hybrids are environmentally friendly and the liquid oxidizer is not toxic.

These and several other advantages of the North Star rocket family you can find when browsing through the attached PDF-file describing the proposed North Star concept.  - The hybrid motors will initially be used to power the proposed North Star 1 and 2 sounding rockets, both carrying the ARR developed Hotel Payload.  After gaining experience with them on the sounding rockets, they will be used on the proposed three stage North Star Launch Vehicle (NSLV). The NSLV will be a fully hybrid powered vehicle for Nano-satellites up to 10kg, launched into Polar Low Earth Orbits from Andøya Rocket Range about 2020.

Rather than what is happening to most of the Nano-satellites these days, when they are intermittently piggy-backed into too high orbits, the NSLV is intended to serve a growing market of Nano-satellites in need for a launch at a specific time, and into a specific orbit and altitude.

The NSLV is a green alternative, both in its hybrid rocket configuration, but also when it comes to orbital limitations. Future legislation will put limits on the orbits small scientific payloads can utilize. The NSLV will be the first and only launcher specifically tailored to serve those polar low altitude orbits. The maximum altitude is set to 350km. The favorable latitude of ARR is another factor positively influencing the size of the launcher needed to carry these scientific payloads into their desired orbit. Together, this will be a milestone in the process of limiting the growing amount of space debriscaused by satellites launched into too high orbits for both their own needs and their technical capabilities.

Nano-satellites launched these days do not have any form of de-orbiting features which leaves them up there for far too long. Launched to a lower altitude, natural forces will bring them down much faster without causing unnecessary problems for other satellites and the International Space Station.

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