Propulsion Overview

Parabilis engineers have extensive experience conceptualizing, designing, building, testing, and flying affordable propulsion systems and launch vehicles for manned and unmanned spaceflight. Our propulsion expertise ranges from small liquid bi-propellant RCS thrusters, to a high-performance H2O2/HTPB fueled upper-stage, to larger hybrid launch vehicles with >65,000 lbs. of thrust. Our team is committed to providing affordable space access that will help catalyze the emerging low-cost New Space industries. Learn more below about how we excel in developing affordable propulsion systems.


Over 35+ years of experience developing propulsion systems for manned and unmanned spaceflight.

  • Designed and tested both bi-propellant and hybrid engines at our Test Site using:
    • LOX/CH4
    • N2O/HTPB
    • MON3/HTPB
    • N2O4/Paraffin
    • H2O2/HTPB
  • Successfully demonstrated variable-throttle hybrid rocket engine technologies.
  • Developed custom pyrotechnic and spark ignition hardware for multiple motors.
  • Developed innovative liquid injection thrust vector control technologies.
  • Created Cryogenic Gelled Propellants and tested rheological properties.
  • Established processes to analyze, and mitigating risks in propellant feed systems.
  • Developed innovative Additive Manufactured components for rocket engines.
  • Developed multi-port & complex fuel grain geometries demonstrating minimal residual.
  • Experience designing and integrating launch vehicles and small spacecraft such as Atlas/Centaur, SpaceShipOne, SpaceShipTwo, DreamChaser, and Trailblazer.

Hybrid Upper Stage on Test Stand

Featured Propulsion Programs

Hybrid Upper Stage

Hydrogen Peroxide/HTPB Small Launch Vehicle Upper Stage

RCS Thruster

Monolithic Metallic 3D Printed LOx/Methane Reaction Control System (RCS) Thruster

Sample Return

Compact Hybrid Design for Long Duration Sample Return Missions from Lunar or Martian Surfaces

Optical Scan of Hybrid Rocket Fuel Internal Surface Profile

Methods and Capabilities

  • Utilize multiple industry standard software tools.
  • Utilize validated in-house analysis tools.
  • Dynamic fluid system analysis.
  • Internal ballistic codes for various hybrid fuel ports.
  • Thermal/heat transfer of propulsion system components.
  • In-house machining & assembling of propulsion systems.
  • Propellant handling and propulsion testing experience.
  • In-house testing for all propulsion components.
  • System sizing and optimization for any spacecraft/vehicle.
  • Iterative design processes, increasing adaptability and optimization abilities.
  • Developed custom fuel grain motor pour vacuum processes and techniques.
  • Extensive propulsion FEA analysis for extreme environments.
  • Non-destructive fuel regression measurement & 3D mapping system.


Mars Ascent Vehicle Hot Fire