Space Propulsion Group
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Space Propulsion Group is an aerospace manufacturer in 1999 by Dr. Arif Karabeyoglu, Prof. Brian Cantwell and others from Stanford University to develop high regression-rate liquefying hybrid rocket fuels and motors. They have successfully fired motors as large as 12.5 in. diameter which produce 13,000 lbf. using the technology and are currently developing a 24 in. diameter, 25,000 lbf. motor to be initially fired in 2010.
The company is working together with NASA to develop the motors for NASA's Peregrine sounding rocket. As of 2008, the development was proceeding on schedule (aside from an 8 month delay for safety review after the 2007 Scaled Composites explosion), aiming for first flight in late 2009.
Much of the company research is in the area of liquid surface melt on the surface of the solid fuel grain. They have experimented with solid fuels that exhibit these properties, such as paraffin wax and polyethylene wax. The company has also developed a new oxidizer, Nytrox, that consists of mixtures of nitrous oxide and oxygen.