Starchaser began life as an experimental rocket test programme set up by Steve Bennett back in 1992. The objective was to develop an inexpensive means of delivering small scientific payloads to high altitudes.
This research was funded through a variety of sponsorship deals and by the mid nineties the project had grown into a team effort. In 1996 the team successfully launched a 6 metre (21 ft) rocket, Starchaser 2, which qualified as the largest private civilian rocket ever to be built and flown in Europe.
Later the same year the programme was re-launched as the Starchaser Foundation before relocating to Salford University where Steve became Director of the Space Technology Laboratory.
Over the years Starchaser has launched many successful rockets, becoming internationally recognised as leaders in their field and Steve and the team are rapidly becoming household names.
Starchaser also has an ongoing rocket engine research and development programme. Several sizes and types of engine have been manufactured and tested with a view to creating a safe, reliable, economical and environmentally friendly means of reaching outer space.
Starchaser Industries was incorporated as a private limited company in December 1998. The company transferred its manufacturing and rocket assembly arm to new premises in Hyde, Cheshire in January 2001 where a dedicated team of people are currently employed.
Starchaserís Research and Development team is now working on a rocket called Nova 2 which is capable of taking one person into space. Recent work on Nova 2ís Launch Escape System engine has proved very successful, with actual flight testing of the Nova 2 rocket to commence shortly.
The flight of Nova 2 will help validate some of the systems that will be used in Thunderstar; Starchaserís fully reusable three person rocket that will eventually be used for Space Tourism