I read about the CONTOUR mission which used an internal solid rocket motor to change the trajectory. Have there been other spacecraft using a solid rocket motor which is not jettisoned after usage?


2 Answers 2


Muses A Lunar Orbiter (Hagoromo)

above: from Gunter's Space Page

According to Gunter's Space Page's Muses A Lunar Orbiter (Hagoromo):

It was launched piggy-back on the Muses A (Hiten) probe into a highly elliptical Earth orbit which passed by the Moon ten times during the mission. At 19:37 UT on 18 March 1990 as Hiten approached its first lunar flyby, the small Hagoromo spacecraft was released into lunar orbit, making Japan the third nation to orbit the Moon. Although the S-band transmitter aboard Hagoromo had failed on 21 February 1990, the ignition of the Hagoromo deceleration rocket was confirmed by ground observation at 20:04:03 UT, the estimated orbit was 7400 × 20000 km with a period of 2.01 days. No contact could be established after orbit insertion.

@DavidHammen's answer to the question "Was Hagoromo's capture into lunar orbit ballistic capture or more propulsive?":

From the NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive entry on Hagoromo,

A solid propellant (KM-L) retrorocket with a mass of 4 kg was mounted inside the spacecraft for orbit insertion.

@DavidHammen's answer to the question "How could tiny Hagoromo have been seen visually from earth confirming its lunar orbit?" is a click away and worth the read, so I won't re-quote it here.

See both (either) linked question for more images of this kawaii spacecraft and it's "parent" craft.

  • $\begingroup$ @thefall_ thanks for the accept, but if you leave the question open for a few more days it's possible more people will post answers. There may be more, and some of them even more interesting! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Sep 18, 2018 at 12:34

The Soyuz descent module has SRMs that are fired just before touchdown. Does that count?


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.