Frontier's Products, Services and Facilities

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Propulsion for launch vehicles and spacecraft typically involves rocket engines, but it can also apply to other means of moving through space such as solar sails. Rocket engines have traditionally been developed under government contract, and as a result are often very, very expensive. It doesn't have to be this way.

In a free market environment absolute performance may be secondary to reliability and cost. Frontier Astronautics strives to bring more affordable rocket engine technology to the burgeoning entrepreneurial space industry. Engines can be designed, constructed and tested to meet your mission requirements at a small fraction of the cost charged by government-subsidized aerospace companies.

Viper LOX/Kerosene Rocket Engine

Our patented Viper engine is a robust, highly reusable, deep-throttling liquid propellant engine. The baseline model can be easily adapted to a variety of sizes to fit almost any propulsion need.

The Viper rocket engine is designed to be highly throttleable and inexpensive to use. It uses a patented injector head that damps acoustic modes in all axis; radial, longitudinal, traverse and cyclic (think ¿toilet bowl¿) so that combustion instability does not occur. Combustion instability will cause a resonance within the engine and cause it to fail. As an example the Saturn F-1 engine had to go through 13 different injector designs before combustion stability was achieved.

When throttling the combustion modes change in frequency such that an engine that is stable at one throttle setting may not be stable at a different throttle setting. The injector was designed with multiple damping modes over a large throttle range. Throttling is important and highly desirable when passengers are on board as the vehicle will accelerate more and more as propellant is consumed. In order to keep G loads low the engine must throttle or be discarded for a smaller engine by staging.

  • JET-A Kerosene Fuel (adaptable to Ethanol or Methanol Fuels)
  • Designed for throttling applications (9:1 capability)
  • Feed pressures from 150 to 250 psia with 150 psia regulated baseline
  • 830 to 7500 lbf thrust
  • 100+ second continuous burn time
  • Removable and quickly replaceable inexpensive ablative liner
  • Combustion stability from proprietary injector and acoustic tuned chamber

Asp Hydrogen Peroxide Rocket Engine

The Asp engine is a robust, low-cost monopropellant engine suitable to a variety of lower-thrust applications requiring guaranteed ignition and/or environmentally sensitive propellants.

  • 80 - 90% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Designed for throttling applications (7:1 capability)
  • Feed pressures from 150 to 250 psia with 150 psia regulated baseline
  • 300 to 2100 lbf thrust
  • 200+ second continuous burn time
  • Dual Catalyst for increased efficiency
  • Low maintenance, does not need to be repacked between flights

Attitude Control Systems (ACS)

"Attitude Control" is engineering parlance for controlling the orientation and direction of flight of a vehicle. Sometimes referred to as a "Reaction Control System" when rocket thrusters are used, attitude control systems can also use momentum wheels, control moment gyros, gravity gradient systems etc.

Finding engineers that have the understanding of the kinematics of how a rocket powered vehicle flies, and the forces that are required to keep it flying in the direction you want, are difficult to come by for free-market space companies. Learning to do this by trial and error can be expensive in time, money and equipment loss. Frontier Astronautics brings specific expertise in this field of engineering to this new space industry. We are able to tell you up front if your system is controllable (many are not) and quickly and reliably model the dynamic forces on your vehicle and develop a control system to make it fly under control.

  • Six degree of freedom Attitude Control System design and construction
  • State Space Design theory
  • Pressurant Tanks
  • Propellant Feed Lines
  • Component Selection (IMU, DGPS, Avionics, Valves, Regulators, Filters)
  • Dynamic Stabilization (Control law derivation and Matlab and Simulink modeling)
  • Custom Attitude Control Systems (ACS) design services also available

From Concept to Reality

Frontier designed and built the Laramie Rose lunar lander test vehicle from concept, hardware fabrication and assembly

As a part of the design a comprehensive attitude control system was designed to control the flight of the vehicle. This was done with Matlab™ and modeled on Simulink/Flightgear™ (the video game looking panel). Disturbances such as wind gusts could be given to the model to see how well it would respond.



Hydrogen Peroxide Propellant

Frontier Astronautics and X-L Space Systems has begun on-site production of hydrogen peroxide. 70 to 99% hydrogen peroxide is available in 500 lbm quantities to other space companies.


Frontier Astronautics offers a variety of services in support of your projects. We have the expertise and facilities to help you in all of the following areas:

  • Horizontal and Vertical Rocket Engine Testing
  • Test Flights
  • Launch Support
  • Machining Assistance
  • Secure Storage Space for Rent
  • Design and Analysis in Propulsion, Structures, Controls, and Testing

Indoor Fully Instrumented Vertical Test Stand

It is important to test a rocket engine the way it will be used. Sometimes an engine will work fine when fired horizontally but unforeseen problems occur when used vertically. If you want to fly vertically then you should test it on a vertical test stand. Built for the Atlas E missile with 375,000 lbf thrust, the Vertical Test Stand is currently instrumented with (3) three-axis load cells so you can measure thrust and gimbal side forces.

Rocket Engine Design, Fabrication and Testing

Engines for your private space project can be designed, fabricated and tested at a fraction of the cost that government programs have spent.

CAD Design

Frontier can design your hardware using Siemens NX™ or Solidworks™ CAD software, perform Finite Element Modelling and stress analysis with Femap/Nastran™ and create ready-to-use .stp files for CNC and Additive Machining.

Frontier can manufacture these components out of many materials even the more exotic alloys.

Frontier can also perform turbo-machinery design and analysis. Experienced personnel using CFTurbo™ can accurately model most turbomachinery designs, predict pressure changes, turbulence, cavitation and overall system performance.

Trajectory and Ascent Analysis

Frontier Astronautics can model your vehicle's optimized ascent trajectory with QuickShot™ or POST II software. Air-breathing vehicle trajectories as well.

If you need:
  • Trajectory Analysis: Quickshot™/POST II
  • Control Systems: Matlab™/Simulink™
  • Structural Analysis: Femap/Nastran™
  • CAD Design: Siemens NX™/Solidworks™
  • Propulsion Design
  • Composite Nozzles/Tanks: by Compositex™
  • Turbomachinery Design: CFTurbo™
  • Thermodynamic/Combustion Analysis
  • Rocket Testing Services
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Supply: by XL Space™
  • Custom Manufacturing of exotic metals
Go to the Frontier!


Our headquarters is established at a decommissioned Atlas-E Missile Silo. This facility contains over 15,000 square feet of sub-terrainian reinforced concrete structure along with many other property amenities that are ideal for engine development, hot-fire testing, and flight testing. We have full paved access into the facility and easy access from the Interstate.

Many young privately-held space companies quickly find that one of their most daunting problems is finding a place to test their vehicle technology. Unlike other businesses, developing rocket engines and trying to test fly rocket vehicles often grabs the attention of the local zoning authorities...

Frontier Astronautics has obtained a retired Atlas-E missile silo in rural Wyoming for just such testing. The State of Wyoming, Platte County and the City of Chugwater have been extremely supportive. Frontier Astronautics has been issued a Special Use permit for the zoning of the property (specifying rocket engine testing and launching of rocket vehicles) as well as an exemption from any county fire bans during the summer, as the rocket test facilities are concrete and designed to withstand an Atlas-E missile launch.

Thus, entrepreneurial space companies can come to Frontier Astronautics' facilities and test their hardware without worry.

You will not find a friendlier place to start a rocket company!

Click the images below for a closer look at our facilities
Atlas-E Silo (circa 1960)
Atlas-E Silo (circa 1960)
Main Atlas-E Missile Bay
Main Atlas-E Missile Bay
Atlas-E Flame Trench Suitable for Vertical Engine Testing
Atlas-E Flame Trench Suitable
for Vertical Engine Testing
Main Missile Bay 47-Ton Blast Door
Main Missile Bay 47-Ton Blast Door
Main Missile Bay with Blast Door Open (Full Drive-in Capability)
Main Missile Bay with Blast Door Open
(Full Drive-in Capability)
Underground Access Tunnels
Underground Access Tunnels
Machine Shop Area
Machine Shop Area
Spray Pond Suitable for Vertical Hover and Flight Testing
Spray Pond Suitable for
Vertical Hover and Flight Testing
Horizontal Engine Testing Quonset
Horizontal Engine Testing Quonset