Space propulsion startup Ursa Major has entered the solid rocket motor market with the introduction of Lynx, a new approach to producing solid rocket motors faster and more flexibly than the traditional industrial base. The company, known for its hypersonic technology and rocket engines, made the announcement about Lynx, which marks its foray into solid rocket motors.
Ursa Major founder and CEO, Joe Laurienti, shared that the company has been exploring the solid rocket motor space for about two years and received a demand signal in the summer of 2021. The Department of Defense expressed interest in Ursa Major’s expertise in hypersonics and space technology and brought up the idea of the company getting involved in the solid rocket motor space.
The decision to move into the SRM market was influenced by the need in the broader industrial base for the ability to manufacture more solid rocket motors to equip allies and maintain a substantial US stockpile to deter adversaries like China. Ursa Major aims to build SRMs quickly in a factory that can be easily reconfigured to work with different types of motors, offering a different approach to the traditional process.
Lynx is not an individual motor, but rather a manufacturing process that Ursa Major is using, with the company expecting to announce its first Lynx product by the end of the year. The process will utilize additive manufacturing to accelerate production, potentially enabling a single 3D printer to produce 1,650 motors per year for some smaller SRMs.
The company’s approach also supports flexibility to build multiple platforms from Stinger to Javelin, to a man-portable air-defense system on a single machine in quick succession. While Ursa Major’s focus on solid rocket motors continues, the company affirmed its commitment to space and hypersonic technology, noting potential lessons learned from building SRMs that could benefit its space pursuits.