It's Rocket Science: UTRS's Dave Micheletti to Present Research on New Rocket Motor

Cherry Hill, N.J., September 28, 2011—Universal Technical Resource Services, Inc. (UTRS) is playing a major role in the development of a new type of rocket motor that could one day send tourists into space.

The motor, now being tested at a facility near Butte, Mont., is the first designed for space flight using both solid and liquid fuels. The hybrid motor combines the ability of liquid fuel to regulate rocket thrust and the ability of solid fuel to be easily stored.

Butte AeroTec Facility Hybrid Rocket Motor Test from MADA on Vimeo.

Dave Micheletti, UTRS Vice President of Aerospace and Energy Operations, will present a paper on the testing to the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) at its annual conference this October in Cape Town, South Africa. The IAF is the world’s largest aerospace professional organization, bringing together the latest research from government, business and academia.

Presenting with Micheletti will be Dr. Arif Karabeyoglu, President of the Silicon Valley-based Space Propulsion Group, UTRS’s research partner. Micheletti also will chair a separate session on aerospace propulsion technology at the conference.

UTRS and the Space Propulsion Group are collaborating with the nonprofit Montana Aerospace Development Association (MADA) on the hybrid rocket motor. Micheletti is the former President and current Chairman of the Board of the Directors of MADA, which seeks to build the state’s aerospace industry.

Micheletti, who is directing the testing, says an 11-inch version of the hybrid rocket motor could be commercialized soon, and larger versions are also being tested.  Commercial aerospace firms—which hope to send tourists into space—are interested in the technology, as is NASA and the Department of Defense, according to Micheletti.