Starchaser Gets Research Grant to Create “Eco-Friendly” Rocket Engine

Starchaser Press Release

Manchester based high technology company Starchaser Industries has been awarded an £130,730 [$210,317] Grant for Research and Development (GRAND) from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) to develop a unique eco-friendly rocket engine for eventual use as a safety system aboard commercial space rockets.

Specialising in the development, operation and commercialisation of space related products, Starchaser Industries have identified a unique way to develop an environmentally friendly hybrid rocket engine that will utilize “green” propellants, producing virtually no harmful emissions.

This technology can be used aboard space launch vehicles as recovery systems to ensure the safe retrieval of astronauts. The project is based on the known hydrogen peroxide concept, but has new elements combining this work with solid fuel made from waste materials. The safety aspect is the key differentiation to current technologies, potentially leading to a successful commercial future.

As well as managing a number of research and development projects, Starchaser in collaboration with the University of Salford, also has an established and highly successful Outreach Programme, working with the public and education. The Outreach team visit around 200 schools and engage with over 150,000 school children every year.

Mark Hughes, Executive Director for Enterprise and Skills at the NWDA said: “Innovation is crucial to the region’s global competitiveness and is at the heart of the UK’s drive to ‘build and sustain a knowledge economy.’ The application of leading-edge technologies, like those demonstrated by Starchaser, help companies develop new markets, increase exports and generate additional jobs for the region.

“In the past 8 years the NWDA has assisted nearly 600 companies to develop their ideas into projects with a solid commercial potential with the help of the GRAND scheme. Of these some 285 Northwest companies have gone on to have their research projects approved, leading to commercially exploitable intellectual property.”

Steven Bennett, Managing Director, at Starchaser Industries Ltd said:
“The development of an eco-friendly rocket motor system that can be employed to safeguard the lives of astronauts will showcase the very best of British endeavour and innovation. This project will provide new opportunities and will demonstrate key technologies that will help open the frontier of space for all.”

The NWDA manages and funds a number of business finance solutions designed to help businesses in the region to start up and grow.