SpaceDev Awarded Patent For Hybrid Propulsion Technology

August 15, 2006

SpaceDev has been issued a United States patent for its hybrid propulsion technology. The U.S. Patent Office issued U.S. Patent No. 7,069,717, entitled "Hybrid Propulsion System," to SpaceDev for technology related to fine altitude and control systems on a spacecraft. The patented Hybrid Propulsion System provides increased control of thruster minimum impulse over conventional systems while simultaneously reducing oxidizer waste.

This translates to reduced costs and higher efficiency for SpaceDev's systems. According to the patent, liquid oxidizer from a main motor is used in a gas thruster by converting the liquid oxidizer to a gas state. This ensures that gas, rather than liquid, is delivered to the thruster.

"As indicated by the issuance of this patent, SpaceDev continues to make an impact in the private Space technology arena with our affordable and innovative space products and solutions," said Jim Benson, SpaceDev Chairman and Chief Technology Officer. "The historic flight of SpaceShipOne in October 2004 was a testament to the capability of this Company's proprietary rocket motor technology and, we believe, only the beginning of what SpaceDev will ultimately accomplish."

The technology behind the patent was developed and funded by SpaceDev. The SpaceDev inventors cited in the "Hybrid Propulsion System" patent are Chris Grainger, Manager Mechanical and Fluids Engineering and Frank Macklin, Vice President Engineering.

"We are continuing a strong tradition of intellectual property protection," said Mark N. Sirangelo, SpaceDev Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We have filed and continue to file patents where appropriate, to position SpaceDev as a technology leader. In some cases, we have chosen to maintain trade secret status on certain technology; however, we have filed both an umbrella patent and niche patents for our hybrid propulsion technology protection."

Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Earth flyby of 'space peanut' captured in new video

July 31, 2015

NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

Exoplanets 20/20: Looking back to the future

July 31, 2015

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star.

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.