Ursa Major Unveils Arroway

Render of Ursa Major's Arroway heavy-launch engine.

Render of Ursa Major’s Arroway heavy-launch engine. Image: Ursa Major.

Ursa Major has unveiled its engine for heavy launch vehicles. The Colorado startup is calling its latest propulsion product Arroway, a nod to Dr. Ellie Arroway, Jodie Foster’s character in Contact.

Arroway specs: 200,000-pound thrust, liquid oxygen and methane staged combustion, mostly 3D printed, and reusable. 

  • Timeline: Arroway is available to order now. Ursa Major is targeting initial hotfire tests in 2023 and engine deliveries in 2025. 
  • Engine family: Ursa Major also offers Hadley, an oxygen-rich staged combustion engine with 5,000 pounds of thrust. Ripley, the startup’s second product, is 10X more powerful.
  • Plugging market gaps: In a previous interview with Payload, Ursa Major CEO Joe Laurienti estimated that Russia’s war against Ukraine created $2.1–$2.4B of “immediate market vacuum” in launch. 

“Arroway engines will be one of very few commercially available engines that, when clustered together, can displace the Russian-made RD-180 and RD-181, which are no longer available to US launch companies,” Ursa Major wrote in today’s announcement.

The startup’s strategy: As we wrote in April, “Ursa Major wants to turn the industry playbook of vertical integration on its head. Rather than build all or most of a vehicle, this horizontal integration evangelist is heads-down making liquid rocket engines for three verticals: 1) space launch, 2) on-orbit propulsion, and 3) hypersonics.”

+ Sneak peek: “I think we need a thriving rocket engine industry and we need more than one company that sells rocket engines,” former Blue Origin president Rob Meyerson says in next week’s edition of Pathfinder. “And I think that’s why Ursa Major is bound for good things.”

Related Stories

Kayhan Space Releases Satcat Space Intelligence Tool

The Satcat database catalogs 60,000+ objects in orbit, from active satellites to drifting debris


Apex Raises $95M in Series B

With Aries already sold out into 2025, Apex plans to use the influx of cash to expand its production capabilities to meet growing customer orders.


Scottish Space Network, Sustainable Alpha Team Up To Grow Scottish Space Sector

The Scottish Space Network expects Scotland’s space sector to more than double in the coming years.


Can Space Start-Ups Really Wait A Year For Satellite Approval?

Since many start-ups are, by their nature, proposing novel technology that regulators haven’t encountered before, the scrutiny only increases.