The main objective of the Super Strypi program, formerly known as LEONIDAS, is to develop a low-cost, small-satellite launch capability. Aerojet Rocketdyne is the sole source supplier of the three-stage propulsion system, which uses robust and affordable Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs): LEO-46, LEO-7 and LEO-1.
The spin-stabilized Super Strypi is launched from a tilted, truss-mounted rail system, with cold gas attitude control systems on the 2nd and 3rd stages for maneuverability. Without a complex and costly guidance system, the launch aims to demonstrate a concept that cuts preparation and processing time from months to weeks, thereby slashing the cost of launching small satellites into orbit.
Super Strypi is designed to deliver payloads in the range of 300kg to low-earth orbit. Its launch system cuts traditional launch costs by using proven sounding rocket methods, including spin-stabilized flight, a new 135-foot long rail launcher and the three SRMs: LEO-46, LEO-7 and LEO-1. Super Strypi is sponsored by the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) office, in coordination with Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Hawaii/Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory, the Pacific Missile Range Facility and Aerojet Rocketdyne.
The inaugural flight of the Super Strypi Launch Vehicle is slated for late fall 2015, when the three-stage flight motor is scheduled to launch the ORS-4 mission from Kauai, Hawaii, carrying the University of Hawaii’s HiakaSat satellite and 12 CubeSats. The maiden flight would represent the largest propulsion system ever launched from a rail system.
The LEO motor set was designed and fabricated by Aerojet Rocketdyne with the support of General Dynamic-OTS in Lincoln, Nebraska for the composite cases; and American Automated Engineering in Huntington Beach, California, for the ablative nozzles. The LEO-7 second-stage motor, LEO-1 third-stage motor, and LEO-46 first-stage motor were successfully tested in August 2012, September 2013, and August 2014, respectively.
Government and industry officials anticipate the Super Strypi vehicle and AR’s LEO motors will find application in the commercial industry as a dedicated small satellite launcher.