Encyclopedia Astronautica
VKS


Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1986. The Energia VKS was designed as a hypersonic rocketplane with multi-regime engines, in response to the Soviet Ministry of Defenses' MVKS single-stage reusable aerospaceplane system requirement.

In reaction to US X-30 project, government decrees of 27 January and 19 July 1986 ordered development of a Soviet equivalent. The Ministry of Defense issued technical specifications on 1 September for an MVKS, a single-stage reusable aerospaceplane system. The MVKS was to provide effective and economic delivery to near-earth orbit; develop the technology for effective transatmospheric flight; provide super high-speed intercontinental transport, and fulfill military objectives in and from space. It was known that the Tupolev, Yakovlev, and Energia design bureaus submitted designs.

At NPO Energia Tsybin was appointed the Chief Designer for the project. The Energia VKS was designed as a hypersonic rocketplane with multi-regime engines. These engines were turbo-ramjet with in-line rocket chambers. The VKS was sketched out as having a 700 metric ton takeoff mass, of which 140 metric tons was structure. A 25 metric ton payload could be delivered to a 200 km / 51 degree orbit. Length would have been 71 m, wingspan 42 m, and height 10 m to the top of the fuselage.

Work was abandoned as the Soviet Union broke up and the Tu-2000 seemed the preferred solution.

Gross mass: 700,000 kg (1,540,000 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 200,000 kg (440,000 lb).
Payload: 25,000 kg (55,000 lb).
Height: 71.00 m (232.00 ft).
Span: 42.00 m (137.00 ft).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Russian Rocketplanes The story of rocketplanes and spaceplanes in the Soviet Union was one of constant setbacks due to internal politics, constant struggle with little result. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • VKS Russian SSTO winged orbital launch vehicle. RKK Energia's proposed solution to the Soviet government's MVKS requirement for a single-stage-to-orbit reusable aerospaceplane system was this 700-metric-ton, turboramjet/rocket mised propulsion design. Work began in 1986 but abandoned when the Soviet Union collapsed. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

Bibliography
  • Semenov, Yu. P., S P Korolev Space Corporation Energia, RKK Energia, 1994.

VKS Chronology


1986 January 27 - . LV Family: VKS. Launch Vehicle: Tu-2000; Yakovlev MVKS.
  • Government decree orders design of a Soviet aerospaceplane - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Tu-2000; Yakovlev MVKS; VKS. Summary: In reaction to US X-30 project government decree ordered development of a Soviet equivalent..

1986 July 19 - . LV Family: VKS. Launch Vehicle: Tu-2000; Yakovlev MVKS.
  • Government decree orders development of a Soviet aerospaceplane - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Tu-2000; Yakovlev MVKS; VKS. Summary: The decree of 27 January 1986 was reaffirmed..

1986 September - . LV Family: VKS. Launch Vehicle: Tu-2000; Yakovlev MVKS.
  • MVKS specification issued - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Tu-2000; Yakovlev MVKS; VKS. The Ministry of Defence issued technical specifications on 1 September for an MVKS, a single-stage reusable aerospaceplane system. The MKVS was to provide effective and economic delivery to near-earth orbit; develop the technology for effective transatmospheric flight; provide super high-speed intercontinental transport, and fulfil military objectives in and from space.

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