Encyclopedia Astronautica
Negev 5

Israeli manned spacecraft. Study 2004. X-Prize suborbital balloon-launched ballistic spacecraft concept of IL Aerospace Technologies (ILAT), Israel.

Negev was a design by Dov Chartarifsky of IL Aerospace Technologies (ILAT), Israel. In the 2004 version, the spacecraft was to be launched from ground level using a hot-air balloon as a first stage. After being dropped from the balloon at an altitude of 10 km, the spacecraft would fire an 8,000 kgf thrust solid rocket motor for 96 seconds. At engine burnout, the vehicle would be traveling at Mach 3.4 at an altitude of 49.6 km. The crew would experience weightlessness for four minutes, reaching a maximum altitude of 120 km. During descent, the nose sphere would detach from the capsule. It would remain connected by a cable, serving as a drag brake and stabilizer during the re-entry. At an altitude of 5 km, and a velocity of ~85m/sec, drogue and main chutes would deploy sequentially. The main chute would slow the capsule down to 7 m/sec before splashdown. Stability in the water was ensured by the ballast of the rocket motor casing.

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  • X-Prize The X-Prize competition was an attempt to promote commercial civilian spaceflight in a manner similar to the prizes handed out in the early days of aviation. Ten million dollars was to go to the first team to fly a vehicle capable of launching three people into space (defined as an altitude of 100 km in a suborbital trajectory), twice in a two-week period. The vehicle had to be 90% reusable by dry mass. For purposes of the two flights, the competition accepted flight by one person and ballast equivalent to two others at 90 kg per passenger. More...

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