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SpaceDev announces new launch vehicle
Posted: Tue, Apr 22, 2003, 9:53 PM ET (0153 GMT)
California-based aerospace company SpaceDev announced Tuesday that it was developing a new low-cost launch vehicle for carrying small payloads into low Earth orbit (LEO). The Streaker launch vehicle will use a hybrid-propellant engine system — liquid oxidizer and solid fuel — to place payloads of up to 450 kilograms into LEO. The company, in a statement announcing the development of Streaker, did not disclose when the vehicle would enter service and would only say the cost of a Streaker launch would be "less than existing or planned small launch vehicles." SpaceDev acquired the intellectual property assets of the American Rocket Company (AMROC), which developed a hybrid-powered rocket in the late 1980s, a few years ago and has used that as a basis for a hybrid propulsion program. SpaceDev is also one of two companies developing propulsion systems for the SpaceShipOne reusable manned suborbital spacecraft announced last week by Scaled Composites. SpaceDev is also developing orbital transfer vehicles under an Air Force Research Lab contract.
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