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This Page is For Historical Reference Only

Launch vehicle SMA-1, shown below, is being retired. It will be replaced by the SMA-2, a simpler, more reliable, and more economical launch vehicle.

The design of the SMA-1 used RP-1 as a fuel and 95-98% hydrogen peroxide as the oxidizer. This combination was chosen to avoid the use of cryogenics in order to simplify the design. These components were also chosen to allow the rocket to remain fueled on the launch pad in case of a launch delay.

One of the problems with this fuel/oxidizer combination is the low Isp and thus, and a low mass fraction. The final decision to abandon the project, however, was due to two major factors.

1) H2O2 is no longer made anywhere in the world above 30% concentration. A considerable capital investment in a refinery would have been necessary to obtain the higher concentration necessary for rocket use.

2) Through our research, we were able to develop a solid fuel with an Isp of well over 300. Excepting the Micro version, all launch vehicles in the SMA-2 family achieve a mass fraction of 4.2-4.8.

SMA1 Rocket drawing
Function Orbital launch vehicle
Manufacturer Space Mission Architects
Country of origin United States
Project cost US $14 million
Height 26.2 m (86 ft.)
Diameter 1.4 m (4.5 ft.)
Rocket Mass 56,553 kg. (124,417 lb.)
Solid Boosters 2
Booster Mass (combined) 57,766 kg. (127,085 lb.)
Stages 3
Payload to LEO 1067 kg. (2347 lb.)
Payload to GTO 370 kg (814 lb)
First stage
Engines 3
Thrust (total) 818 kN (183,950 lbf)
Specific impulse 273 s (sea level)
Burn time 131 seconds
Second stage
Engines 1
Thrust 217 kN (48,862 lbf)
Specific impulse 273 s (sea level)
Burn time 116 seconds
Third stage
Engines 1
Thrust 96.5 kN (21,699 lbf)
Specific impulse 319 s (vacuum)
Burn time 55 seconds
Boosters (combined)
Engines 2
Thrust 1,287.7 kN (289,480 lbf)
Specific impulse 274 s (sea level)
Burn time 63 seconds