The SORAC Project was initiated in 1995 as a Civil Experimental Aerospace endeavor. The first goal is to place a totally non-government funded vehicle into internationally recognized space, 62 statute miles straight up. The group numbers about 30 persons across the USA, with a local contingent of about 10 persons performing the actual mechanical work on the vehicles.
All vehicles use the safe and inert-till-fueled Hybrid Propulsion System. The fuel grain itself is essentially rubber as found in your automotive tires. The oxidizer is Racing Nitrous you find at Race Tracks around the country. The Nitrous is added at the launch site when the vehicle is mated to its 58 foot launch tower. So the vehicle is totally inert up until moments before launch.
From its inception, the Project has added additional tasks including the design of a Appolo Moon Flight Computer that is outstanding in its design and utility. It will soon be offered to outside users with the need for data logging, GPS downlinking, Manchester Encoded Telemetry, and the control of up to 8 onboard functions.
The SORAC Vehicles also feature flight termination so an errant unit will have the motor shut down and reverse thrust applied as well as removing the nose cone for increased drag and recovery of the Flight Computer.
The project is always open to new volunteers and financial assistance.
To volunteer or offer assistance in any way, please contact Bill Colburn at:
P.O. Box 204,
Hollister, CA 95024
General Launch Tasks
Administration Assistant, Photography
Administration Assistant, Photography, Crew Support
Design and Documentation
Machinist, Assembler, Alchemist
Recovery and Ground Support
Launch Director and RSO
Fuel and Fire
Facilities Design and Support
Fuel and Fire
Test Stand, Scale Tests
Nose cone and fin assemblies
Telemetry, and things that go beep…
Machinist Assistant, Assembly, Jr. Alchemist
Assembly and Preperation
Assembly and Logistics
Assembly and Preperation
Launch Control Officer
California Licensed Pyrotechnician
Rockets, 1st Class
Larry Pezzolo - - Machining
John Louis - - Machining
All Rite Aluminum - - Materials and trailering
Wright Brothers - - Welding and parts
Don Zimmerman - - High pressure spun tanks
Chuck Piper - - Rocket Ranch Test facilities
Pacific Rocket Society - - Test facilities
Hollister Internet - - Internet services and web
John Carmack - - ID Productions
George Deli Santi
Jeff Jakobs Second stage system design and testing
How to volunteer for the SORAC project
Please contact us at:
P.O. Box 204,
Hollister, CA 95024
– ATTENTION –
NEW! The Hybrid Manual has been revised, corrections from errata incorporated, new sections added. Currently 137 pages of inspiring Hybrid Design Concepts, theory, sources, and test data.
The CD-ROM has been further edited, newer versions of some spreadsheets added and some more utilities to make design work easier.
Still the same price for 30% more text and much more on the CD.
Also, see bottom of page for NEW Educational Pricing!!
– === *** === –
The Hybrid Propulsion Manual - covering principles of operation, specific details on construction and testing and with information on propulsion systems from the GIRD vehicle in the 1930’s to the SpaceShip One Propulsion System which sent a civilian astronaut into space for the first time.
Over 100 information-packed pages - 14 chapters and 7 appendices - includes a CD with over 450 megs of video, fotos, drawings and reports - spreadsheets and design aids for creating hybrid propulsion systems.
Please see the Table of contents for the written portion of the manual. The CD ROM is extensive and has a great collection of fotos, video, data files, drawings, and spreadsheets for hybrid propulsion system design.
Table Of Contents for Revised Edition
Errata for Original Hybrid Manual
The introduction to Hybrid Technology is written by Bill Colburn, the Co-Inventor of the Urbanski-Colburn Valve for simplified hybrid motor construction. Bill also designed, constructed and tested the first Hypergolic Hybrid Motor in June of 1951.
Bill also built the first N2O Hybrid motor using 2 inch tanks (laboratory demonstration tanks), the fore-runner of the consumer High Power Rocket Motors now supplied by both Aerotech and Hypertech.
Bill wrote the first Hybrid Propulsion Manual aimed at the field of Experimental Rocketry. This re-written manual is included as part of the SORAC Hybrid Manual.
The Hybrid Manual is offered for $75 which includes the Introduction to Hybrid Technology, the Hybrid Manual, Hybrid Designs, Hybrid Theory, the SORAC Drawings, the Narrative History of the SORAC Project, photographs and video clips.
The above prices include shipping at book rate, for priority mail add $5.00 to the manual.
Because of the nature of the material, we can only ship to USA addresses.
Send check or money order made out to William Colburn in US Dollars to:
P.O. Box 204
Hollister, CA 95024-0204
NOTE: Payment can be made through PayPal by contacting Bill Colburn at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Educational Discount Pricing
The Hybrid Manual is offered to educational institutions at the following discount rates:
over 25 -25%
Please be aware that all of the information contained in the papers listed below are original works by the authors and are covered by Copyright, and all rights are reserved. If any work is placed in the public domain, then the paper will have a bold notice at the top and bottom of all pages. Personal, non-profit and not for profit use is allowed. Any other use, please contact us for more information.
By reading and using any information in these papers, or this site, you will, by default, and with no exceptions, whether allowed by the country or state in which you live or not, hold the authors, the SORAC group members, the SORAC volunteers, the SORAC contributors, or any other private or corporate entity associated, however tenuously, from harm.
|ElectricMatch.pdf||William Colburn||On Making a High-Current Electric Match for Meeting No-Fire Requirements at Government Ranges|
|NoseConeFabricationProcess.pdf||Michael Yamamoto||Details for creating fiberglass nosecones.|
|HybridMicro.pdf||William Colburn||Report on the Oback-Colburn Micro-Hybrid motor.|
|Launch_Controller_Schematic.pdf||David Pond||Schematic diagram of SORAC launch controller overlaid on top of actual device.|
|Analysis_of_Riveted.pdf||William Colburn||Analysis of Riveted and Bolted Joints|
|Analysis_of_the_thrust.pdf||William Colburn||Analysis of the thrust level|
|ASP_6SW.pdf||William Colburn||ASP 6SW report|
|H5-Fin.pdf||Steve Zwaska||Dimensioned drawing of the H5 Series Fin|
|SORAC_003tasks.pdf||William Colburn||Preflight, Launch, post flight procedures.|
|SW6-HR_Telemetry_Stack.pdf||Steve Zwaska||6SW Flight computer setup procedures.|
|Statistics_of_the_V2.pdf||William Colburn||V2 statistics.|
|Mandrel_Design_for_Rocket_Motors.pdf||William Colburn||Mandrel design for solid propellant and hybrid rocket motors.|
|Liquid_Propulsion_System.pdf||William Colburn||Tasks to be performed on a pressurized propellant system.|
Photos at the Hollister Hanger, Rocket Ranch, MTA in Mojave, and Black Rock Nevada Desert
Hanger Photos from Inception through 2001
Hanger Photos from 2001 through 2003
Rocket Ranch Photos
MTA Launch Photos
Project Drawings and Designs
Black Rock Launch Photos
Current 2006 Projects at the SORAC Hangar