CASTOR® Motors

Castor Motors  

CASTOR® 30/30B

Northrop Grumman developed the CASTOR® 30 motor in response to a request for a large-diameter upper stage motor. It was later optimized for use as the upper stage on the Northrop Grumman Antares™ launch vehicle and designated as CASTOR 30B, which was first flown in April 2013. This is an ideal solution for spacecraft insertion on the Antares vehicle.


The CASTOR® 30XL is the next step in evolution for the CASTOR 30 line of motors. At 92” diameter, 238” long and 58,000 lbs., this motor is highly optimized for encapsulated flight to the International Space Station (ISS) and commercial spaceflight. Qualification of this motor, from concept through static test, occurred in 23 months.


This variant of the CASTOR 120® predecessor is used as a first or second stage in commercial launch vehicles and provides improved performance over the baseline configuration. A version of this motor was static tested for the U.S. Air Force as part of the Large Class Stage development program, however the motor is being updated to tailor burn rates and improve performance, as well as utilize common materials and processes to improve cost control for launch vehicle providers.

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