Black Brant

One of the most popular sounding rockets ever built, the Magellan-designed family of Black Brants have played a leading role in scientific exploration since 1962. 

More than 1,000 Black Brants have been launched with a vehicle success rate above 98%. Designed and developed at Magellan Aerospace, Black Brants are used as a single or multi-stage vehicle for placing scientific payloads into space or as a ballistic missile target. The most reliable, cost-effective and available sounding rocket in use today, they are continuously updated with new technology to meet NASA’s changing needs: up to 20 minutes of time for microgravity experiments, auroral studies, deep space observations, and other extraterrestrial research.

Black Brant 5

Black Brant 5



  • Payloads of 70-850 kg
  • Solid propellant rocket system available in single and multi-stage configurations 
  • Altitudes of 150 km to more than 1500 km
  • Launched from conventional boom rails or four fin towers
  • Comprehensive range of vehicle/payload designs and fabrications
  • Aluminized hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) solid propellant provides an approximately neutral pressure/thrust-time trace
  • Motor case insulation/liner system consists primarily of Kevlar fibre-filled EPDM rubber
  • Motor case made from 4140 alloy steel and heat treated and hydrostatically proof pressure tested
  • Nozzle and exit cone consists of a graphite throat insert and a steel housing 
  • Igniter contains boron potassium nitrate (BPN) pyrotechnic main charge within a consumable plastic basket, and a booster charge
Black Brant Ready for Launch

Black Brant Ready for Launch


  • Mission feasibility and definition
  • Payload/hardware design and fabrication
  • Experiment integration
  • Environmental testing
  • Mission analysis
  • Launch services and range crew support
  • Project management
Black Brant Fin Manufacture

Black Brant Fin Manufacture

Product Line


NIHKA is designed to be used as an upper stage rocket motor for Black Brant X and XII, utilizing a similar motor case material and manufacturing process. It was originally developed for Black Brant but customers such as NASA found they could extend its use to another vehicle system. While Black Brant X and XII are three and four stage rockets, NIHKA has unique features that enable it to be exoatmospheric. It’s also equipped with camera mounting capabilities to capture extraterrestrial imagery. 


Ken Kohut Marketing Manager