Looking for a specific product?

Make a search for products & suppliers, articles & news.

Rockets - Norway powers its way to international space contracts

When it comes to hybrid rocket technology, Norway is first on the European Space Agency’s (ESA) list. With a respected background in the missile field, the Nammo Group is part of the Norwegian Centre of Expertise at Raufoss, an industrial and research cluster that can claim status as Norway’s strongest cluster of goods manufacturing companies.

 Onno Verberne, Vice President Engineering & Technology at Nammo, explains his company’s success with hybrid rockets: “Over the past 4-5 years, Nammo has expanded its rocket motor expertise into the field of hybrid rocket motors. In contrast to solid rocket motors based on a single, solid component like the fuel, hybrid rocket motors are based on a two component fuel, a solid and a liquid (or gaseous) part. This results in a rocket motor with three great advantages compared to traditional solid rocket motors,” he says.

Enhanced Safety
Verberne believes that Nammo’s technology can affect both safety and the environment. “They are inherently much safer, the thrust level can be controlled and both the constituents and the exhaust gasses are predominantly environmentally safe,” he says. “Nammo has already flown one experimental rocket from Andøya and is preparing for a series of experimental flights with an educational rocket this fall. Nammo has also been tasked by ESA to study the applicability of this technology for the next generation of Space Transportation.”


Nammo’s hybrid rocket technology is proving a fascinating proposition for the European Space Agency. Nammo successfully tested a hybrid rocket at Andøya Rocket Range in May 2007. © Nammo


Ariane 5 – the European Space Agency’s Flagship
The European Space Agency (ESA) is the authority behind the Ariane 5 expendable launch system. With several forthcoming flights planned during the course of 2009, Norway is again proving itself as a fundamental technology supplier with a number of high-profile contracts. Amongst the Norwegian companies involved in the Ariane programme is Norspace, which supplies electronic products including, in this case, 586 Level Conditioners, which form part of the rocket’s fuel level measurement systems.

In February, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, which has also been a significant equipment supplier for the Ariane programme over a number of years, signed a contract with EADS-Astrium of France worth around 120MNOK. Kongsberg’s attachment and separation mechanisms transfer thrust from the boosters to the main stage of the Ariane 5 carrier rockets. Noted for their reliability, Kongsberg will provide equipment for 35 booster rockets before 2014. The boosters burn 230 tonnes of fuel in the course of two minutes, then separate from the main stage of the carrier rocket. The separation itself takes just 5 milliseconds.

Nammo recently added to its growing reputation by signing the single largest contract in the history of the Norwegian space industry, worth 150MNOK. The company will deliver 700 rocket motors covering Separation Boosters (FE), Acceleration Boosters (FA) and Safe & Arm devices (BSA) for Ariane 5.

Related articles

Latest articles

The Future of Shipping is Autonomous

Many are looking forward to driverless cars in the future. The shipping industry is testing vessels without captains.

Major Petroleum Province in the North

Cost cutting initiatives and new technology are paving the way for the Northern Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea to become the next major petroleum province on the shelf.

Norwegian Seafood Export Hits Record Numbers 2016

2016 was another record year for Norwegian seafood export with export value reaching 91,6 billion NOK (approximately $10 billion). The Norwegian Seafood Council presented the 2016 numbers at a conference in Oslo today.  

Portugal: Norwegian Cod Keeps the Bacalhau Traditions Alive

Portugal is a country of cod lovers and cod from Norway is a favourite. No other European country, uses up as much seafood and for sure not as much cod, per capita as Portugal. 

Norwegian Seafood Enjoyed Worldwide

Norway exported 2.6 million tonnes of seafood 2015. That represented more than 11 billion main courses. But the number of meals containing Norwegian seafood is possibly in the order of more than 20 billion. Seafood is ofte...

Mother-Daughter Ship to Boost Short Sea Cargo

More goods will need to be transported by ship to meet stricter environmental guidelines. A Norwegian maritime cluster has found the answer in a ship-in-ship short sea cargo concept.

More Sustainable Fish Feeds

The Norwegian seafood industry is experimenting with new sustainable fish feeds like tree yeast and sandhoppers that won’t compete with the foods we eat and also help farm more fish.

Spotlight Tanzania: New Offshore Gas Opportunities

Africa is both promising and challenging. The Norwegian offshore industry is eyeing petroleum field developments in Tanzania for possible opportunities.

Norway's Future Green Fleet

A dramatic fall in battery costs and stricter emission regulations are spurring the Norwegian maritime to develop the most environmentally friendly fleet of coastal vessels.