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On 5 July 2018, Norway’s rocket motor scored a new record, demonstrating Europe’s lead in hybrid propulsion for future launchers.
During the test, the motor generated 30 kN of thrust, an equivalent of over 40 kN of thrust in vacuum. This is enough to propel a sounding rocket past the edge of Earth’s atmosphere to an altitude of over 100km – a first for a European rocket with hybrid propulsion.
Nammo in Raufoss, Norway, developed the motor under ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme. It combines the simplicity of solid propellant with the versatility and safety gain of liquid propulsion, using highly concentrated liquid hydrogen peroxide oxidiser combined with a solid inert rubbery fuel.